We here at Smilezone Foundation are proud to announce the opening of our new Smilezone location at Grand River Hospital in their Children’s Cancer Treatment Centre! The project was completed on the weekend of June 20th-22nd in the POGO (Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario) satellite centre, transforming the space into a fun play zone complete with games, colourful artwork and gaming technology.
The hospital’s POGO clinic sees more than 650 visits annually from local young cancer patients. Chemotherapy can be long and strenuous for young patients and their families and this Zone aims to help children endure their treatment in a more pleasant environment.
The new Smilezone expands on work by David Clarkson and his charity, Clarky’s Kids. In the past, Clarky’s Kids has donated sports memorabilia to embellish the space currently undergoing transformation. David Clarkson, player for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Memorial Cup winner in 2003 with the Kitchener Rangers, teamed up with the Kitchener Rangers a few years ago to help improve the lives of young cancer patients and their families. His foundation raises money to help families pay for their children’s medical expenses and continues to do other charitable work. It is fitting that Smilezone join Clarkson’s efforts at Grand River Hospital, with a mission to improve the lives of young patients and their families, one smile at a time.
“Organizations like Clarky’s Kids and Smilezone are shining examples of community organizations helping local people. We are so grateful for their support and more importantly for helping to put a smile on the faces of our young patients.”
– Irene Hard, Program Director of the Childbirth and Children’s Programs at Grand River Hospital
We were also very honoured to have David Clarkson attend the opening ceremony for this completed Zone and speak on behalf of Clarky’s Kids.
Thank you to everyone who helped support or provided generous donations towards this build, we couldn’t have done it without you!