By Julie Williams

Since its inception in 1990, the Jennifer Ashleigh Children’s Charity (JACC) has come to the aid of more than 15,000 seriously ill children and their families throughout Ontario. Families have benefited from JACC funding to offset hospital and household costs, specialized care, medical treatments and therapies. The charity raises funds through their signature and community events as well as rely on the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations.

Within the Stouffville community, the Gennuso family has benefited greatly from the Jennifer Ashleigh Children’s Charity. According to Daniel Gennuso, JACC helped pay for his son, Luca’s, therapy expenses that were not covered anywhere else.

“They went the extra mile and also covered the travel expenses to and from the therapy which was incredible,” said Gennuso. “JACC invited my whole family to a cottage retreat, all expenses paid, to get away from the every day. It was a great family bonding experience.”

On Aug. 25, JACC will host more than 700 guests at Prince Lee Acres farm just north of Uxbridge, an annual tradition for more than 20 years.

“We’ve been inviting the children of our charity along with their families to join us for a day of pure family fun and entertainment,” explained executive director, Jane Sleep. “For us, it’s a day that we can share and celebrate with our special guests. I like to think that what we do here at JACC is an expression of love. It’s also a gift that brings hope from donors they will never meet.”

This year’s theme is ‘Fun on the Farm’ and Sleep would love to hear from anyone who has an antique tractor they can borrow for the day.

Understandably a party of this scale doesn’t happen without a tremendous amount of planning, manpower and donations.  The call is out for more than 200 volunteers and “lots of kind donors”.  If you are interested in volunteering or donating food or a toy/prize, email generalmail@jenash.org or call 905.852.1799 x25. Financial donations will help offset the cost of transporting families from the city.

Main photo: The Gennuso family is grateful to the Jennifer Ashleigh Children’s Charity for their financial support. From the left: mom Laura, dad Daniel, sisters Liliana and Sabrina with Luca.