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Kasting 4 Kids Rehab raises another $210k to help kids with injuries and disabilities

Sam Paonessa

The only thing better than going fishing is going fishing for a good cause, and that’s exactly what 80 enthusiastic anglers did last Friday at Ontario’s private Franklin Club. And lucky me, I got to tag along for the fun.

The day-long event was the 5th annual Kasting 4 Kids Rehab fundraiser, which counts major banks, investment firms and the like among its sponsors and patrons. In short, the money crowd was well represented—and generous.

In all, the friendly fly-fishing competition (there were separate morning and afternoon sessions) raised $210,000, pushing Kasting 4 Kids five-year total to $860,000. Next year, the goal is to reach $1 million as the six-year total. Judging by last Friday’s success, that should not be a problem.

The worthy recipient of all this corporate largesse? Holland Bloorview Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation, Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital and a global leader in care, research and education related to childhood disabilities and injuries.

The centre has roughly 550 inpatient admissions and 56,000 outpatient visits each year from around the world, serving kids from birth to 19 years of age. And here we’re talking about youngsters dealing with everything from cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy and amputation to epilepsy, spina bifida, autism and other developmental disabilities. Talk about a good cause to support.

Kudos to Jason Smith, CEO of the financial services company Real Matters, who first spearheaded this initiative after his son, Alexander, received stellar care at Holland Bloorview following a near-death bout with bacterial meningitis. As a father of three kids, I can only imagine what the Smiths went through, and I certainly appreciate and support Jason’s keen resolve to give back. (For more on Kasting 4 Kids, see Associate Editor Scott Gardner’s report from last year.)

Along with the opportunity to learn more about Holland Bloorview, the event also gave me an opportunity to finally check out Mount Albert’s Franklin Club, which is mere minutes from my home in Aurora. Founded in 1909 by a group of doctors from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, the club offers year-round fishing for rainbow and brook trout on the 22-acre Franklin Lake and two adjoining ponds.

I landed seven nice ’bows on the fly during my short time on the water (thank you guide Sam Paonessa), including one bruiser stretching the tape to 54 centimetres. Let’s just say I hope to get an another invitation to back some day soon.

To learn more about Kasting 4 Kids, Holland Bloorview and how you can also contribute to helping kids tackle a wide variety of health challenges, please click here.

My big rainbow of the afternoon, fly fishing at Kasting 4 Kits fundraiser at the Franklin Club
My big rainbow of the afternoon, fly fishing at Kasting 4 Kits fundraiser at the Franklin Club

Avid fly fisherman Sam Paonessa was my guide for the afternoon at the Kasting 4 Kids fundraiser
Avid fly fisherman Sam Paonessa was my guide for the afternoon at the Kasting 4 Kids fundraiser

Patrick Walsh

Patrick Walsh

Patrick Walsh is Outdoor Canada's Editor-in-Chief and Brand Manager. He grew up fishing and hunting in Bracebridge, Ontario, where he began his magazine career in 1983 as assistant editor of Muskoka Life magazine. Since then, he has worked for a variety of media, both in Canada and abroad, earning numerous writing and editing awards. In 2005, 2011 and 2012, the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors named him Editor of the Year, while Outdoor Canada was honoured as Magazine of the Year (in the medium circulation category). Walsh has been at the magazine's helm since 2000.

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