DesJardins Insurance cheque presentation. January 13, 2020. (Photo by Paul Pedro)

Groundbreaking closer for new CK children’s centre

The Children’s Treatment Centre of Chatham-Kent can’t wait until March to find out if it will receive provincial funding for its new building.

The centre still needs $22.5 million from the province before it begins constructing the new building on McNaughton Avenue near Fergie Jenkins Parkway.

In the meantime, Chatham Desjardins Insurance agent Scott Stanley stepped up with a $4,000 cheque on Monday to help the Butterfly Building Campaign.

“This organization plays a vital role in our community and Desjardins is proud to help support their good work,” said Stanley.

CTC Foundation Executive Director Mike Genge said $5.4 million of the $6 million local fundraising goal has been raised.

Genge said the new state-of-the-art facility should take about 30 months to build from start to finish to address the growing demand in the community.

“When I walk through the lobby of our children’s treatment centre, you see little miracles every day and we literally just brought on 10 new employees in January for our school-aged program to be able to work out in the community. So, were up to 60 employees now,” said Genge.

Genge said the new building is big enough to accommodate current needs and has plenty of space around it to expand in the future.

“When you have a child and they have some kind of disability, it’s so frustrating and what’s really frustrating is when you’re on that waiting list of 1,200 parents and you’re waiting to get a service. You know it’s there but we don’t have any room to bring you in and that sucks,” he added.

Genge said nothing would be possible without local donations, such as the one from Desjardins Insurance.

“With donations like this being able to help us build a new centre, we’ll be able to get rid of those waiting lists and be able to get all the kids in to be able to get all those services,” Genge said.

The current building on Lark Street in Chatham was originally built to serve 240 children and youth but it’s bursting at the seams with more than 5,000 children in therapy and another 1,200 on the waiting list.

CTC Foundation will get another donation from Sons of Kent on Friday night, which is when the amount will be announced. The funds were raised through the sales of the brewery’s Fergie Classic Pilsner beer.

The theme for the 2020 Festival of Giving will also be announced at Sons of Kent on Friday night.