Chemung Lake District Lions Club donating activity care packages to pediatric cancer patients

·2 min read

ENNISMORE — With the help of local businesses and organizations, the Ennismore-based Chemung Lake District Lions Club is distributing hand-picked activity care packages to pediatric patients receiving care at Peterborough Regional Health Centre.

Members of the Chemung Lake District Lions Club District A3 for Childhood Cancer committee, chaired by Lydia Elliott, came up with the idea in October of last year in an effort to support young cancer patients undergoing treatment.

After being approved by PRHC, Elliott and two other volunteer committee members began reaching out to area businesses in a bid to collect items for the hospital-bound care packages.

Contributors pitched in and provided items, including Gerri’s Arts & Crafts in Peterborough, Fabricland on Chemong Road, Shaun Milne Signs in Ennismore and the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 77 in Lakefield. Crayola, Scholastic Canada and Dollarama Corporate.

Volunteers from the Buckhorn Beauties Red Hat group and the Lakefield Village Lions cut material and lining for the specially-made drawstring bags, while members of a local quilters group dedicated their time and skills to sew the bags together.

The Lions Club’s logo and its navy and gold colours are featured on each bag, thanks to Shaun Milne’s design work.

Elliott and fellow committee members filled each bag with a variety of age-appropriate materials for four age groups up to age 17 — from colouring books, stickers and crayons to teen-friendly books and gel pens.

On July 15, Elliott and four other club members brought 24 packages to the hospital, where they were then distributed to pediatric patients receiving care through PRHC’s Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO) satellite program. The hope is that children will use the activity packages while undergoing treatment at the hospital or while travelling to and from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

According to Elliott, the club has dozens of packages filled and ready to be distributed. In the meantime, the committee is continuing to work with businesses to gather more items for activity packages. Ultimately, the goal is to hand out 200 bags to patients.

Elliott said the initiative was made possible thanks to a concerted effort from community partners, businesses, organizations and Lions Club members.

“Without our committee members and our club members helping out, we couldn’t have done this project,” she said.

Elliott hopes the program will bring a bit of brightness to each patient.

“All you can do is try to make life a little easier for (young patients). I feel good about what we’re doing, that we can even do a little part to help.”

Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him at

Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner

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