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Celebrating 40 Years of Helping Kids be Kids

“My favourite camp experiences were making new friends and going swimming with my friends and meet fun, great, hilarious councillors and of course the food was AMAZING!!!” - Natalee, age 6

The Sudbury Manitoulin Children’s Foundation was founded in 1976 by: Gerry Lougheed Sr., Robert Fabbro, Donald Taylor, Paul Sauve, James Cormier, Ronald Luciani, and John Koski. Four of our founding members stayed on as directors for over 25 years; one is still a director today. For the first few years the Foundation assisted disadvantaged children by supporting a variety of community needs. Though not a founding member, Charles ‘Chuck’ Murray joined the board very shortly after it was founded. He became a beacon for us and served as President of the Board for nearly 25 years. In 1983 an independent study was commissioned to assess the needs of children in the community. The study determined that “the Sudbury Manitoulin Children’s Foundation should be involved in camping”; and that “[they] should assume the prime responsibility for the generation of funding for camping opportunities for needy/disadvantaged children”. Because of these recommendations, the Send-A-Kid to Camp [SAKTC] program launched in 1984 and has sent over 17 000 local children to camp since then.

The programming offered at summer camps nourish children’s minds and hearts… Now and for years to come. SAKTC works with over 40 summer camps across Ontario. For a full list of our partnered summer camps please visit our website at SMCF does not operate their own camp.  Instead, we work with existing camps since they can offer more program opportunities for children than what a single camp could ever provide. This year we offered a range of camps that included traditional summer camps, to more specialized day camps focusing in a specific activity or topic. What ties these camps together is that they are all ‘helping kids be kids’. What ties the kids together is that none of them would be able to reap the benefits of a summer camp experience without the assistance of the Send-A-Kid To Camp Program.

Children are referred to the SAKTC program through over 60 different social and community agencies spread out across the Sudbury and Manitoulin region. We rely upon this network to reach the disadvantaged children in our communities. Many of our strongest advocates are those that work with these children through their social and community work. The Sudbury Manitoulin Children’s Foundation relies upon the community we call home to keep our programs alive; the kids rely on the opportunity to have strong role models in their lives to grow into well-rounded adults.  Summer camp is the perfect playground for these young campers to meet those role models and develop skills and positive memories to carry into adulthood.

SMCF is not a government funded foundation. We rely on charitable donations and various fundraising events to help fund our programs.  Volunteers are always needed to help with a variety of our events and planning committees. Every year, our volunteers are present at the Festival of Lights accepting donations and handing out candy canes in support of Sudbury Charities Foundation.

Our spring Dress Down Day challenges businesses city wide to allow staff to “Get Comfy for A Cause” for a token donation to the SAKTC Program. Our summertime signature event is our Charity Chair Auction; it is truly unique LOCAL effort to raise funds for sending kids to camp. This year LOCAL volunteers at the Walden Seniors and Pensioners Woodworker’s built us folding Muskoka chairs. LOCAL volunteer artists then painted works of art on the chairs; and LOCAL businesses sponsored the creation of these chairs. These chairs got auctioned off at a LOCAL establishment (this summer the auction was held at Nickel Belt Camping). Over $9,000 was raised from this event thanks to the generosity of LOCAL community and business support! For more information on these events, or if you are interested in hosting your own event in benefit of SMCF, please call 705-673-2227.There are many ways to support the SMCF outside of cash donations and event hosting.  New to SMCF is the donation of your old vehicle through our partnership with Donate a Car Canada.  If you would like more information on this or on how to support our Foundation and the SAKTC program you can do so by visiting our website at  

A Planned Giving Program is being developed; willed bequests are just one of the avenues that are being established to allow people to donate in a way that they will be assured they will make a difference to disadvantaged children for years to come. You are welcome to call or email us at [email protected] to learn more.

The children we serve provide us with the inspiration and fuel our dedication to continue this amazing program. Our ability to make this happen comes because of YOUR community support. YOUR support means so very much to THOUSANDS of children.  With deepest gratitude, we thank all of those who have extended their trust, support and cooperation to us over these last 40 years.  YOU are the reason for the success of the programs.  YOU are the reason these ’kids can be kids’.