Third annual Children’s Foundation fundraiser returns July 5

The Island Queen prepares to depart back in July 2017. The third annual Cruise for Kids takes place July 5. (Chad Ibbotson/Gazette staff)




The Children’s Foundation 2018 Cruise for Kids departs from Picton Harbour on Thursday, July 5.

The third annual fundraiser for the charitable arm of Highland Shores Children’s Aid offers two opportunities to tour the shores of Prince Edward County aboard the Mississippi riverboat-style Island Queen. The first tour takes place from 1–4 p.m. and is billed as a relaxing casual afternoon with appetizers, a silent auction, and raffles. The evening cruise, taking place from 6:30–9:30 p.m., will be a riverboat fantasy themed cruise including a three-course dinner for 110 people as well as silent auctions and raffles. Tickets for the afternoon cruise are $50 while a spot on the dinner cruise cost $150. Both cruises will offer a cash bar.

The Children’s Foundation program co-ordinator Kate Anderson said those who take the cruise have an opportunity to learn more about local history.

“We have a lovely commentator who, when we’re travelling up and down the water, lets us know little historic events that have happened in the county, which is really, really great and a lot of people love that,” she said. “We have lots of food, the silent auction, raffles — all that kind of stuff.”

While the afternoon cruise is great for adults, Anderson said it has a lot to offer kids as well.

“We have a lot of grandparents bring their grandchildren and we have co-workers and colleagues and families just looking for an afternoon out,” she said. “It’s right after school’s done, so it’s a nice family activity.”

The Children’s Foundation expanded into Prince Edward County in 2015. The organization offers programs like Playing for Keeps, which helps families with the cost of enrolling children in sports, and Camps of Hope, which helps families pay registration fees so children can attend camps. Executive director Connie Reid said last year the organization’s Helping Hands program expanded into the county.

“We were able to help six young moms go through their pregnancy and to have a safe, happy home after they have their child,” she said.

In 2017 the organization helped with 25 local registrations through the Playing for Keeps program and so far this year has helped 20 children register for a sport or non-sport activity.

“At this point in May, we’re well on our way to exceeding the 25 that we did last year,” Reid said.

She said the Playing for Keeps and Camps of Hope programs are available to any family in the community who is experiencing financial difficulties.

The organization also offers the Reach for Success Youth Awards for children who are in the care of Highland Shores Children’s Aid. The program includes both awards and bursaries and last year more than 60 awards and 50 bursaries were distributed.

Reid said the organization does not receive support for those programs through any ministry. The funding is raised through charitable donations, grants, and events like Cruise for Kids.

Those looking to purchase tickets can contact Anderson at 613-476-7957 or email for more information.