(Mississauga ON) – Bright, cheerful and upbeat spaces to lift the spirits of children facing medical treatment – that is what Smilezones are. And the first Smilezones in Canada officially opened today at ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development, thanks to the work of the newly created Smilezone Foundation
Founded by Adam Graves of the New York Rangers organization, and Scott Bachly, CEO of Bachly Construction, the Smilezone Foundation aims to transform areas in children’s care facilities across Canada into zones that put a smile on the faces of kids receiving treatment.
“We are truly honoured to receive the first Smilezones,” said Bridget Fewtrell, President and CEO of ErinoakKids. “It is truly amazing how these beautiful spaces put smiles on children and their families, even if they are nervous about treatment.”
At the ErinoakKids 2277 South Millway site in Mississauga, the reception area now has bright colors, a mural depicting flamingos on holiday, and inviting iPad stations and computer game consoles for the children. An additional Smilezone puts bright colours and new cabinetry in the Seating Clinic/Botox Room up the hall, and the hallway itself has a mural featuring Harry Potter themes including young Quidditch players in flying wheelchairs. A fourth Smilezone was built at the Autism In-Centre located at ErinoakKids’ nearby North Sheridan Way site, where bright, sunny colours and a Safari-themed mural are among the improvements.
“Our goal is simple,” said Adam Graves, who played for 10 years with the Rangers and now concentrates on the organization’s Community Relations work. “A smile is the greatest source of strength for children and their families when they are facing obstacles.”
Added Smilezone Foundation co-founder Scott Bachly: “It has been a pleasure working with ErinoakKids. Together we have turned our vision into reality and created the first-ever Smilezone. This is the first of many to appear across Canada.”
About ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development
ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development is Ontario’s largest children’s treatment centre, serving more than 13,500 children and youth annually who have physical and developmental disabilities, autism, and communication disorders as well as children who are deaf or blind. Our mission is to help our clients achieve optimal levels of independence, learning, health and well-being. Serving Halton, Peel, Dufferin — and, for some services, Waterloo and Wellington — ErinoakKids has approximately 600 staff and 10 sites from which we provide a comprehensive array of assessment, medical, therapy and support services that help children and their families. In 2011 the Ministry of Children and Youth Services approved a redevelopment project to enable ErinoakKids to consolidate its current facilities into three larger sites which will be ideally situated for easy access within our catchment area, and designed specifically for the care of children and youth with special needs. The new facilities are expected to open in early 2017. For more information about ErinoakKids please visit www.ErinoakKids.ca
About the Smilezone Foundation
The Smilezone Foundation, led by Adam Graves and Scott Bachly, aims to assist children and their families facing difficult times. What started off as an idea to help children in local communities has grown into a national organization which hopes to create smiles all over Canada. The Foundation is supported by successful professionals that make up its volunteer Board of Directors. These individuals are strongly committed to making a real difference in communities throughout the country by transforming areas in hospitals, private treatment and development centres and children clinics, in order to improve the lives of children facing illness, disabilities, physical and emotional obstacles.
Director of Communications
ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development
P: 905.855.2690 ext. 4301