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Dancing with the Easter Seals returns to Barrie with remarks from celebrity guest judges

The group of participants in this year's Barrie Dancing with Easter Seals Stars at Liberty North on Fri. April 12, 2024 (Mike Lang/CTV News Barrie). The group of participants in this year's Barrie Dancing with Easter Seals Stars at Liberty North on Fri. April 12, 2024 (Mike Lang/CTV News Barrie).

Some of Simcoe County's most familiar faces put their best foot forward Friday to help children with disabilities have a life-changing experience.

On Friday, Liberty North hosted the annual Dancing with Easter Seals' Stars event again. The gathering puts some prominent personalities' dance skills to the test, bringing in thousands for the organization that supports children and youth with disabilities.

"This is a great cause for this amazing charity," said 16-year-old Shamil Sohail, an Easter Seals ambassador. "This money is going to send so many kids to camp; it's going to give so many kids the equipment that they need to reach their goals to the fullest."

Some local celebrities have been preparing their routines for weeks, matched up with professional dancers. Their moves will be judged by a roster of celebrity judges, including CTV News Barrie Senior Anchor Sarah Freemark.

The goal this year is to raise $110,000. Those funds go towards providing essential equipment for youth across Ontario facing various disabilities.

"For our Easter Seals kids, their equipment is their wheelchairs, their walkers and their commodes," said Charlene Myke, Easter Seals Ontario district manager. "Equipment is one word to some, but for them, it's their lifeline, and that only happens with events like this."

The dollars collected will also go towards sending Easter Seals youth to a life-changing camp, which will provide a unique and much-needed escape and sense of community.

"Some kids talk about Disney World [but] not our Easter Seal kids," said Myke. Our Easter Seal kids will tell it best: They get ten days away from their parents, and nobody tells them the word no!"

Sohail, an organization ambassador, has visited the camp before and is one of the approximately 600 who have registered to return this year.

"I'm looking forward to making new memories, getting to meet my new friends, getting to meet some old friends and making lifelong memories," Sohail said.

For more details on the event, held in communities across Ontario, click here.

With files from CTV's Mike Lang. Top Stories

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