CHICAGO, June 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Avril Lavigne Foundation announced that it will launch CAMP S.T.A.R.S., a program to give children with disabilities the chance to attend summer camp. The program is an expansion of the Avril Lavigne Foundation's Rockstar Club at Easter Seals, designed to support recreational programming for kids and youth with disabilities to explore their talents, make friends, have fun and learn new skills.
The CAMP S.T.A.R.S. program was inspired by Avril Lavigne's visit last summer to Easter Seals Camp Oakes in Southern California where she met with campers and learned of the importance of the summer camp experience for kids and young adults with disabilities. A former summer-camp-kid herself, Avril Lavigne personally knows what attending summer camp means.
"I loved going to camp as a kid. Being able to participate in fun activities and make new friends was a great feeling that inspired the vision I had for The Avril Lavigne Foundation," said Avril. "So I'm thrilled we will be able to provide the opportunity for kids to go to camp who otherwise might not be able to afford it."
The CAMP S.T.A.R.S. program, which stands for Summer Time Avril Rock Stars, will launch at five Easter Seals camps this summer across the U.S. and Canada, including Easter Seals Southern California, Easter Seals Washington, Easter Seals North Carolina & Virginia, Easter Seals Greater Houston, and Easter Seals Alberta, Canada. The Avril Lavigne Foundation will fund camp scholarships for 50 children during the summer of 2013, most of whom live at or below the poverty level and would otherwise not be able to attend camp.
Camper Joy Durkee has been attending Easter Seals Camp Oakes in Southern California for 20 years. "Camp helped me make friends, learn to take care of myself and become more independent," she said. "It is truly the happiest place on earth!"
About Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavigne is a multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter and philanthropist. Her experience working with and meeting children who are seriously ill or who have disabilities inspired her to form The Avril Lavigne Foundation in 2010. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Nancy Davis Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis and has publicly supported a number of charitable organizations over the years, including Amnesty International, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, War Child, and YouthAIDS.
About The Avril Lavigne Foundation
Award-winning singer/songwriter and philanthropist Avril Lavigne created The Avril Lavigne Foundation in early 2010. The Avril Lavigne Foundation R.O.C.K.S.: Respect, Opportunity, Choices, Knowledge, and Strength in support of children and youth living with serious illnesses or disabilities. The Foundation partners with leading charitable organizations to design and deliver programs, raise awareness and mobilize support for children and youth living with a serious illness or a disability.
About Easter Seals
Easter Seals is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and other special needs. For over 90 years, we have been offering help and hope to children and adults living with disabilities, and to the families who love them. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play. Support children and adults with disabilities at www.easterseals.com.
SOURCE Easter Seals