Tyra Mackeeman named 2016 Easter Seals ambassador
This year's campaign motto is ‘Go for it, make someone smile’
P.E.I.'s 2016 Easter Seals campaign was launched Monday by this year's ambassador, Tyra Mackeeman, with the motto, 'Go for it, make someone smile.'
"You have to make someone smile, it's your friend or your family, you have to make them proud and happy," said Mackeeman.
The 10-year-old has Neurofibromatosis, or NF1, but says it doesn't stop her because being different is fun.
"Even though the word is big, I am not letting NF1 be a big trouble in my life. I may not be able to skate and ride a bike like kids my age right now, but I know someday I will. That's why I keep trying and trying," said Mackeeman, a Grade 5 student at Vernon River School.
Neurofibromatosis causes the growth of non-cancerous tumors on nerve tissue, which produces skin and bone abnormalities.
"I have NF around my body and I've had it since I was a baby and I was growing up with it," said Mackeeman.
At the launch, Mackeeman said she was feeling happy but nervous.
"It's kind of hard for me to say I'm the Easter Seals ambassador."
Campaign co-chairs, Regan Lewis and Paul Crant, say there are fundraising events planned across the Island including community barbecues, hockey games and the Tim Horton's ambassador school tour and paper egg campaign.
"We thank you for your past support and encourage you to continue to donate and attend Easter Seals events, to help Islanders with disabilities."
Mackeeman, the daughter of Rina Mackeeman and Jeff Kilbride, says she is excited to start fundraising.
"I am so glad to be your Easter Seals ambassador so I can meet more people and work really hard to raise money."
Mackeeman said she plans to spread the message of helping others while on her school tours and will get used to speaking in front of crowds.
"I will just talk about helping people and raise money and help children who are in the hospital."
The Easter Seals Campaign is a joint initiative of the Rotary Clubs of Charlottetown, Summerside and Montague and continues until mid-June.
Last year, funds raised assisted the P.E.I. Council of People with Disabilities, Joyriders, Cerebral Palsy Association for Community Living, and Camp Gencheff.