On Thursday June 5, 630 special needs kids from 35 Vancouver schools headed to Playland for a day of fun and rides. The trip was organized by CKNW Orphans' Fund, who have arranged the Playland visit for tens of thousands of special needs children over the past 41 years.
"This is a day where children can be just children. They can forget about any challenges they might have and just have a great time," says Jen Schaeffers, Executive Director, CKNW Orphans' Fund. "These are children that wouldn't have the opportunity to attend Playland like many others, due to their financial limitations or current special needs that make it too much of a challenge for their parents or caregivers to take them for a regular day at the park".
CKNW Orphans' Fund booked almost every school bus, coach and wheelchair accessible taxi in the lower mainland to help transport over 3500 children from schools out as far as Abbotsford and up to the Sunshine Coast. Over 260 schools were represented with the majority coming from the lower mainland.
In addition to the rides and music the children experienced, there was a host of entertainment, including local Vancouver mascots Jack from the Vancouver Giants, Mr. Fox (CFOX), Ronald McDonald, Leo the Lion (BC Lions) and Top Dog (CKNW). The event was made possible thanks to generous donors and corporate partners of the CKNW Orphans' Fund including Odlum Brown and The Globe and Mail.