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A boy with his face painted as Spiderman poses for the camera
September 15, 2018

Supercrawl event brings community into RJCHC

Hamilton Health Science’s(HHS) Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre (RJCHC) hosted its first-ever Supercrawl event Friday. The centre opened its doors to patients, families, and the community for an accessible evening of fun and games.

Hello, neighbour

“We’re right in the heart of Hamilton, and being  part of our neighbourhood and community is important to us,” says Karen Margallo, acting manager of special projects & integration at RJCHC. “We also want our patients and families to be able to enjoy this space beyond their scheduled appointments. That’s what this event was all about.”

The event featured lawn games, crafts, face painting, and interactive singalongs with music therapist, Bonnie Brittain. Attendees were also able to tour the centre’s extensive art collection, and learn about the therapeutic role of art at RJCHC. “Our goal was to welcome our community in a fun and interactive way, and I think we achieved that,” says Karen.

Supercrawl for everyone

RJCHC was designed with patient and family input to be an  accessible and community-oriented space. The Supercrawl event took full advantage of that. Kids had a great time playing on the therapeutic jungle gym, and in the courtyard. Easy access to washrooms and parking made it accessible for families who might not be able to attend street festivals where these amenities are harder to come by.

A blonde girl in a wheelchair and a woman with grey hair decorate a purple rock

A boy in an orange shirt plays with bubbles

Roughly 150 guests attended the free event. Attendees included patients and families, staff from all RJCHC programs and their families, and neighbours from the community. Staff who volunteered their time at the event said it was special to see patients enjoying the space in a new way, and to see neighbours who had never before visited explore the centre.

Many RJCHC staff and volunteers gave their time and talents to make the event possible.

“We really could not have done it without them,” says Mary Siegner, a public relations specialist at HHS who chaired the event planning committee. “We were overwhelmed with the response we received from volunteers. I want to thank them all so much for their energy, creativity, and endless talents.”

Three RJCHC staff members smile for the camera

Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre serves infants, children, youth, adults, and their families. It is home to an array of specialized services, many of which support people with life-long health issues. The Centre is a part of McMaster Children’s Hospital.