Red Rock Indian Band’s Sara Kanutski sings How Far I’ll Go for the children at the Mazinaajim Children’s Foundation Dare to Dream Day on April 29 in Thunder Bay.

By Rick Garrick

THUNDER BAY—Red Rock Indian Band’s Sara Kanutski performed the song How Far I’ll Go, from the Disney film Moana, during the Mazinaajim Children’s Foundation Dare to Dream Day on April 29 in Thunder Bay.

“It went pretty good — the kids had fun,” says Kanutski, who won the Original Class category along with pianist Evelyn Davenport at the 2016 High School Idol competition in Thunder Bay. “And I had fun with all the kids and meeting them.”

Kanutski says her goal was to nourish the children’s brains and make them feel creative. The Dare to Dream Day was organized by the Mazinaajim Children’s Foundation, formerly known as Dilico Children’s Foundation, to raise funds to help meet their vision of a future where all children have the opportunity to achieve their dreams and grow and develop into healthy community members.

“Doing this today is really important to make sure that we encourage that,” Kanutski says. “I want them to follow their dreams and be who they are.”

Kanutski performed the song to kick off the Dance Party, which featured music selections by her father Ron Kanutski.

“The kids were having a lot of fun and they had a lot of energy,” Ron says. “We had a little race track up here for a little bit, but mostly it was hardcore dancing and they all seemed to have their favourite songs. The Trolls: [Original Motion Picture] Soundtrack was a big hit here today.”

Ron says the Dare to Dream Day was “totally successful.”

“Kids need opportunities and they need places to go out and just celebrate good life,” Ron says. “And the one thing that was really important as well to the children here celebrating good life, is that their parents and their grandparents were here with them as well. When you see the whole family together having a good time, that’s pretty amazing.”

The Dare to Dream Day also featured a variety of activity stations for the children, including: hair, make-up, nail, crafts, face-painting, candy buffet, and photo booth stations.

“It’s very enjoyable — it’s nice to see so many people out,” says Red Rock Indian Band’s Judy Wawia, who brought her two granddaughters and her friend and her granddaughter to the Dare to Dream Day. “And the kids are having fun.”

Wawia says the Dare to Dream Day lets the children know that their dreams can come true.

“Keep on dreaming, never give up no matter what,” Wawia says. “We all lived through hard times and seeing the kids enjoy themselves is good.”

Tana-Leigh Harty, president of Mazinaajim Children’s Foundation Board of Directors, says the Dare to Dream Day was “a huge success.”

“The smile on the kids’ faces, the parents giving us a pat on the back, I think we raised some well-needed funds for the local community and in the north,” Harty says. “The kids had a blast today — they got to see their superheroes, meet their princesses. It was a true event to be proud of by the board and the people who attended.”

In addition to the activity stations, a group of volunteers in hero and princess costumes met the children as they entered the room.

“Some parents got their face painted as well,” Harty says. “They were in the photo booth — it was the biggest lineup. It was just a huge success overall.”