Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver, June 15, 2010 – Puddles. Bicycles. Homemade fishing rods and tea parties for Teddy. These are the things that should occupy kids. Not debilitating illness, undiagnosed disease, and extended stays in the pediatric unit. To help improve child health in our community, a new annual initiative called Grind For Kids has been launched and is intended to create greater awareness and ‘raise a mountain of money’ for the BC Children’s Hospital.

The concept is simple. Sign up. Collect pledges. Do the Grouse Grind. Raise a mountain of money for BC Children's Hospital! People can sign-up for Grind For Kids online at www.grindforkids.com and ask friends, family and co-workers to pledge a donation for every Grind they complete. Announcing the Grind For Kids initiative at a press conference today were: Grouse Mountain President Stuart McLaughlin, BC Health Services Minister Hon. Kevin Falcon, pediatric cardiologist Dr. Shubhayan Sanatani, and Vancouver Whitecaps CEO Paul Barber.

“Grind for Kids is a brand-new fundraising initiative that uses one of Vancouver’s most iconic natural features - The Grouse Grind - to raise money and awareness for the incredible work of BC Children’s Hospital, a world-class care facility for children that touches almost every young life at one time or another throughout the province,” said Grouse Mountain President Stuart McLaughlin. “Whistler Water, Grouse Mountain and BC Children’s Hospital Foundation are aligned in the belief that together we can ensure that kids are given the chance to be kids.”

The program will appeal to fitness-minded locals and visitors, many of whom already include the Grouse Grind as part of their fitness routine. 

“As an avid hiker and Grouse grinder, the Grind for Kids is a great fundraiser to help our youngest patients at BC Children’s Hospital,” said Health Services Minister Kevin Falcon. “Keeping active and healthy is a great way to prevent chronic disease, and help continue to keep British Columbians the healthiest in Canada.”

Funds raised through Grind For Kids will help meet urgent needs at BC Children’s Hospital, including clinical care, research into prevention, treatments and cures for childhood diseases, community child-health programs, and equipment purchases. BC Children’s Hospital is the province’s only full-service acute care hospital and it serves approximately one million children living in BC and the Yukon. All children who are seriously ill or injured are referred to Children’s Hospital and are treated at the hospital facility in Vancouver or, with consultation from Children’s specialists, in their home community. Last year, more than 78,000 children were treated at Children’s Hospital.

“BC Children’s Hospital relies on the support of tens of thousands of British Columbians a year and, as a cardiologist, I see firsthand the difference donations make,” said Dr. Shubhayan Sanatani, the pediatric cardiac electrophysiologist at Children’s Heart Centre. “This pairing of exercise with fundraising is a winning combination for BC’s children and Grind for Kids participants. We’re grateful for the support.”

Many local sports and businesses leaders were among the Grouse Grind enthusiasts at the launch to show of support for the new program. 

“Grind for Kids is an exciting initiative that will encourage sports teams and fans alike to help children in our province by climbing the trail for physical fitness,” said Vancouver Whitecaps CEO Paul Barber. The Grouse Grind is widely recognized in the local sports community as a demanding and rewarding workout for professional athletes and amateurs of different ages.”

The Grouse Grind attracts over a hundred thousand outdoor enthusiasts each summer to climb the trail affectionately known as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster”. Grind For Kids is presented by Whistler Water, and will run from June 15th, 2010 through September 15th, 2010 (culminating with the Grouse Grind Mountain Run). 

Once registered, each participant gets a personal webpage that they can use to send pledge requests, record grinds completed and share information and goals. Participants collect pledges for every time they tackle the trail. A large but achievable fundraising goal of $1 million has been set.

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