MUSKOKA, ON – Some kids across Muskoka can’t afford basic needs such as beds or entry into organized physical activities, but a successful fundraiser will help change that.

The Children’s Foundation of Muskoka held its annual gala at the JW Marriott in Minett on November 2nd. According to the organization’s executive director, Dave Lyons, the event raised over $26,000 for the Growing Healthy Happy Kids Fund.

“That is the biggest fund and the biggest draw for us,” Lyons said. “It addresses a whole variety of needs that kids will have. Everything from sports registration, to dance, or basic needs such as beds, cribs and strollers.”

The director called the gala a huge success with over 200 people in attendance and over 75 businesses donating auction items.

While the money from this specific event will go to the Growing Healthy Happy Kids Fund, Lyons said the foundation runs four subsidies in total including an educational one to support post-secondary students and another to help kids get into hockey who otherwise couldn’t afford to.

“Presently we have 20 kids involved who will be in for three years,” Lyons said. “They will have all their equipment and registration paid for over that time. That is a growing fund, so we expect to see that expanding over the years.”

The last subsidy the organization runs is the Tony Lynn Rizzutto Campership Fund. Lyons said the fund sent 95 kids to camp last year.

As for future events, the executive director did a good job teasing without divulging too much.

“We have lots of exciting ideas in the works,” Lyons said. “We had a good meeting with the board to look at how things went, what we liked and what we think we could tweak. We’re already scheming on next year.”

Anyone who missed out on the gala but still wants to donate can on the foundation’s website.