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Helping kids grow and have fun

By Aaron Wilgosh, The Graphic

Children take part in the UpTown Music and Dance Summer camp. AMANDA RICHARDSON/TODAY STAFF

Children take part in the UpTown Music and Dance Summer camp. AMANDA RICHARDSON/TODAY STAFF

The Chance 2 Grow program helps kids and youth in Portage la Prairie take part in extracurricular activities every year and with their annual plant sale and ‘she shed’ raffle underway the Child and Family Services of Central Manitoba Foundation is gearing up for another summer of helping kids have fun and grow.

“The program covers pretty much anything under the sun from piano to art classes, swimming lessons, really whatever a child may be interested in,” says foundation administrator, Nancy Funk. “Kids register for whatever activity they desire and then fill out an application and submit it to us for approval. Parents put up a little bit of money between $5 and $20 dollars as a parental contribution and we cover the rest as long as the funding is there to doll out.”

Every child who registers is eligible for up to $400 in a fiscal year, provided the funding is there. The program isn’t specifically geared toward kids in care either, as any child interested can take advantage of the program.

“These are just kids from the community,” says Funk. “They’re your neighbours’ kids, your kids’ classmates, and they’re maybe coming from backgrounds that have economic difficulties and can’t afford the extracurricular activities.”

The two big fundraisers are on the go right now. One is the annual plant sale that’s in its sixth year and the other is their annual raffle and this year’s prize is a fancy new ‘she-shed’ or backyard getaway.

“We’ve partnered with Vanstone nurseries all six years and they have been amazing,” says Funk. “We have a few plants left over but not many. The other one is a playhouse we’re raffling off but I’m marketing it as a 'she shed'. Kids have all these things nowadays to play with but a mom needs a place to get away from the craziness of being a mom.”

Funk says tickets to the raffle can be found at many different locations around Portage la Prairie including the library and Stride Place. Contact the CFS Foundation for information on the plant sale or raffle.

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