Vancouver Island family donates $160K toward inclusive outdoor recreation space at Prospect Lake

Island families will have more options to access inclusive outdoor adventure thanks to a generous donation of $160,000 to Power To Be from the Masons, a local Vancouver Island family. The donation comes from the David Mason Fund, generated through funds raised initially by the Women’s Auxiliary of the G.R. Pearkes Clinic, held at the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island.

“We realize how important outdoor activities are to one’s health and wellbeing. It’s really important to us to help ensure that all families can experience opportunities in nature,” says Janice Mason.

David, the youngest member of the Mason family, was born in 1965 and was diagnosed with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. A wheelchair did not stop David from being an active member of the family, who all loved being outdoors. Every adventure his family went on – from camping, to Beacon Hill Park, to beaches across the Island and across the country – David went too.

When David died at the age of 17, a fund in his memory was established at the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island. The Fund operated for years as a bursary for post-secondary education for students with disabilities. The Mason family is now actively investing in the fund in the community so it can be used to support kids to access health care as well as outdoor recreation and play. This redirected focus is important to the family because they always did everything possible to give David the same opportunities as every other kid.

The donation was made in support of Power To Be’s Prospect Lake site, which is currently being developed to provide access to nature for youth and families living with cognitive, physical, financial, and social barriers.

The Prospect Lake project aims to create a sense of place for participants and their families to explore what is possible while building deeper connections with nature and community. With a focus on accessibility, the site will ensure that kids with all abilities have access to an inclusive space to enjoy the outdoors.

“This project is a fantastic initiative that will serve Island families for generations to come. We are thrilled to see it come to fruition, and are proud to support this work that will enable children of all abilities to share in the magic of outdoor play,” says Veronica Carroll, CEO at Children’s Health Foundation.

“We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the Mason family and their generous contribution to support this project which will create new possibilities and opportunities for adventure. We look forward to our new home at Prospect Lake, and welcoming even more families to experience the benefits of the outdoors in a safe, fun, and inclusive way. Power To Be removes barriers and creates access to nature, and we are so excited to have the Mason family be a part of this mission,” says Tim Cormode, CEO at Power To Be.

To learn more about the new build at Prospect Lake, visit the Power To Be website.

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