Family raised $1 million for respite care programs at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

March 15, 2011 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
TORONTO, March 15, 2011 Vito and Sandra Bigioni announced today they have reached their goal of raising $1 million for respite care programs at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital for children with disabilities.

Holland Bloorview's respite programs provide both high quality medical care and recreation activities for children, so that families feel comfortable taking a break knowing that their child is receiving excellent care in a safe and stimulating environment.

This generous gift was announced at the start of the SmartCentres March Break Creative Arts Respite Camp. The camp provides a variety of activities like painting, drumming, storytelling, music therapy, ceramics, and puppetry. Children have the opportunity to socialize outside the family, to play and interact with other children.

In August 2007, the March break respite camp's funding was in jeopardy so Vito and Sandra made a personal commitment to Holland Bloorview and the kids and families they serve."I had a dream and made a promise to raise $1 million to keep the respite care programs at Holland Bloorview open forever," stated Vito.

Vito and Sandra are the parents of Emily, a young girl who was born with a brain condition known as pachygyria. Even though Emily doesn't communicate verbally, it is clear to her parents that she loves to come to Holland Bloorview. The Bigioni family have been coming to Holland Bloorview for 14 years and use many of the respite care programs.

"My family, like so many families, depends on Holland Bloorview's respite care programs. It's not surprising - the strain on a family raising a child with a disability can be debilitating. Families who care for children with special needs are often exhausted and need short-term relief from the constant demands," stated Vito Bigioni.

"Without any previous fundraising experience Vito and Sandra endeavoured to raise $1 million to ensure respite programs at Holland Bloorview will be funded in perpetuity. With help from their family and friends, they successfully reached their $1 million goal. From wine and cheese receptions to live concerts featuring Gordon Lightfoot & Justin Hines to selling scarves, mailing out appeal letters, Holiday fundraising events and a car raffle. You name it and they did it. We are grateful to the Bigionis and all of the donors who help them reach this goal. Vito and Sandra are true champions of childhood disability," stated Valerie McMurtry, President and CEO, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation.

Over 500 donors have helped the Bigioni family reach their goal
including a $150,000 donation from SmartCentres.

About Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation raises funds in the community for Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Holland Bloorview is Canada's largest children's rehabilitation hospital. The hospital pioneers treatments, technologies, therapies and real-world programs that give children with disabilities the tools to participate fully in life. For more information, please visit: