On Tuesday, July 8, Kitchener Rangers alumnus David Clarkson was on hand at Grand River Hospital to help unveil the new Smilezone at the POGO (Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario) Satellite centre, located in Grand River Hospital’s children’s outpatient clinic.

CLICK HERE for a video tour of the renovation.

The hospital’s POGO clinic sees more than 650 visits annually from local young cancer patients. Smilezone’s refresh of the space provides these children with games and fun activities to enjoy while they receive their chemotherapy.  Chemotherapy can be long and strenuous for young patients and their families and Smilezone aims to help children endure their treatment in a more pleasant environment.  The newly renovated care space includes the installation of treatment stations that feature individual televisions for private viewing, iPads, vibrant murals and a play area. 

“Cancer can have a devastating financial and emotional impact on the families we care for,” says Irene Harder, program director of the childbirth and children’s programs at Grand River Hospital.  “Organizations like Clarky’s Kids and Smilezone are shining examples of community organizations helping local people.  We are so grateful for their support and more importantly for helping to put a smile on the faces of our young patients.”

The work of the Smilezone Foundation expands on the support that Grand River Hospital and POGO have received from the Kitchener Rangers Clarky’s Kids program and Clarkson since 2008.  Clarky’s Kids provides local kids with cancer the opportunity to experience the excitement of a Kitchener Rangers game from a private suite and visit with players and coaches in and out of the hospital.  Clarky’s Kids continues to raise funds for both POGO and the Grand River Hospital Foundation that aid in the support of local parents and siblings who are dealing with a child experiencing cancer. David also enjoys a personal relationship with many of the patients, joining them for fun summer activities and communicating with them through their treatment.

Smilezone is pleased to contribute to the efforts of Clarkson and the Kitchener Rangers to improve the lives of young patients and their families, one smile at a time.  

Smilezone was co-founded by Scott Bachly, CEO of Bachly Construction, and Adam Graves, member of the New York Rangers organization. Smilezone currently has two locations and will continue to expand across Canada in the years to come.

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