TORONTO — A fundraising committee of 25 kids from grades 3 to 8 are organizing the second annual Camp Imagine fundraiser for Imagine A Cure For Leukemia.
“This event was the brainchild of my daughter, Bayley, when she was 10 years old,” Nara Abrams, president and founder of Imagine A Cure For Leukemia, said of Camp Imagine. It will be held March 2 this year at the Castlefield Event Theatre.
“For several years, Bayley has asked her friends to donate to the charity in lieu of birthday gifts. Last year, however, she said she wanted to do more and the Camp Imagine project was born.”
“My Gigi [grandma] was diagnosed with leukemia before I was born,” Bayley said. “We spent almost every day together until I was five years old. Then she got really sick and passed away. I miss her so much. I know she would be proud of me.”
But Camp Imagine, an event for families, is more than just about raising money.
“We also want to encourage kids to get involved with philanthropy and to continue raising awareness of this illness. Most people are not aware that leukemia is the number 1 disease killer of children under 19,” Abrams said.
Committee members are enthusiastic about working for the charity.
“It means a lot to me because it’s a good cause. You need to be committed, because it takes a lot of effort,” said Zev Friedman, 11.
Sabrina Sefton, also 11, said, “Helping organize this charity event is a great way to use what’s in your heart and give back to kids who need help.”
Benjamin Duke, 12, said, “I want other kids to know that anybody can make a difference and give back to their community. As we raise more money, we get closer to finding a cure for leukemia.”
Benjamin’s twin sister Jordana said, “Camp Imagine has taught me to never give up. When the world is a better place, anything is possible.”
Participating camps include Bayview Glen, B’nai Brith of Ottawa, Northland B’nai Brith, Crestwood Valley, Manitou, Muskoka Woods, Robin Hood, Tamakwa, Tamarack, Timberlane, Wahanowin, Walden, White Pine, Winnebago, Elite Basketball, Richmond Hill Country Club, Stinger Ball, Westcoast Connection and Zodiac.
Each camp will have its own booth featuring a fun activity, and there will be snacks and food donated by several companies.
The event will feature a raffle, a silent auction, a dance that will be hosted by Sole Power Productions and the launch of the Camp Imagine theme song written and performed by Marlowe and The Mix and the Camp Imagine committee.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada says that this year 5,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with leukemia and 2,500 will die. Pediatric leukemia remains the most common pediatric cancer (in those age 19 and under). Leukemia accounts for 26 per cent of all childhood cancers and causes 28 per cent of deaths due to childhood cancer.
Imagine A Cure for Leukemia was founded on the premise that it’s important to create awareness and raise money to benefit research.
“I feel fortunate that my mom was at our first two fundraising events. She knew she was our inspiration,” Abrams said.
Tickets are available online at www.imagineacureforleukemia.com.