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'Great day': Port Severn event provides action, fun for resilient kids

About 50 families signed up for Winter Motomax, organized by Starlight Children's Foundation Canada; 'This is so much fun,' say young participant

This weekend, Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada transformed Christie’s Mill Inn and Spa in Port Severn into a two-day, adrenalin-packed Winter Motomax event for children facing serious illness or physical disabilities.

“We have roughly 50 families signed up to come and have a blast over the whole weekend,” said Kristina Hopp, director of communications with Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada.

Over the past 30 years, Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada has helped seriously ill children and their families through various programs and events at little or no cost to families.

The foundation holds a variety of events every year, including Winter Motomax, Starlight Great Escapes, and Brightener Programs, but it also has other specialized programs such as Wishes and Once in a Lifetime Wishes for children anywhere in Canada.

One of the foundation’s popular annual events is Winter Motomax. It includes everything from hovercraft rides over land and water to trudging through the forest in ATVs and a Fat Truck, as well as bonfires and mini-games like plastic axe throwing and a large version of Connect 4.

“This is so much fun,” said Isaac, one of the kids in attendance at Saturday’s event. (Last names were not provided)

All of that fun is the main goal of the event, but Hopp noted many people don’t realize Winter Motomax is completely free for families and all the activities and rides are also free and all volunteer based.

“Everything is free, and we all volunteer our time to do this. Even our CEO has his hovercraft here giving free rides. We all love it,” Hopp said.

The enthusiasm of the members of Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada was echoed by its CEO, Brian Bringolf.

“It’s a great day for us. These events are always a blast to have, but the main thing is the chance to put a smile on families’ faces, especially those who have been going through tough times. When we do that, it is great to see and is a great feeling,” Bringolf said.

While everyone enjoyed the event, there were some notable changes from years past.

“The weather did have an impact on some of the activities. We were supposed to have snowmobiles rides, but we had to cancel those at the last minute. Despite those not running, every other ride and event have gone off without a hitch,” Bringolf said.

Hopp said planning is underway for an event in July at Christie’s Mill Inn and Spa.

Winter Motomax event continues Sunday.

More information about Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada can be found here.