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A thousand small dreams are made a reality through the Esther Finkle Fund

Jennifer Murphy sells fudge and cards to help support a worthy cause that grants dreams to Island children.
Jennifer Murphy sells fudge and cards to help support a worthy cause that grants dreams to Island children. - Desiree Anstey
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. —

From knitted mittens to pottery items, wooden home décor and more, the Wilmot Community Centre in Summerside was buzzing with festive activity on Saturday.

Jennifer Murphy was among the vendors, selling handmade fudge and cards – but all for a worthy cause.

“This is my third year selling items at this craft fair on Esther Finkle’s behalf,” said Murphy, a committee member on the Esther Finkle Fund, which aims to make a difference in the lives of P.E.I. children.

Recently, the Esther Finkle Fund celebrated its 20th anniversary.

“And we just fulfilled – this week – 1,000 wishes by kids,” said Murphy.

“Esther was an amazing woman that worked within Child and Family Services. She helped make children’s dreams a reality, despite their family’s financial challenges. I participated in her fundraising efforts such as the hot dog sales and friendly cash games."

In 1999, Finkle died from cancer at 61, just one year after her retirement.

“After her death, we decided to continue her legacy," said Murphy. "Once a year there's a fundraising walk in Finkle’s name. We (committee members, students and volunteers) raise around $10,000 a year for, primarily, teachers and social workers to apply for a $200 fund, per child (under 18).”

“This week, a child had a birthday party but only one kid showed," she said. "The teacher reapplied (to the Esther Finkle Fund) to help the mother financially, along with extra planning, to have a second party for the kid.

“We had another one this week with an autistic kid that wanted to visit a museum in Charlottetown but had no means of transport. A teacher asked if we could fund the transport and they will make all the travel arrangements. We agreed. That's just an idea of what we do."

Finkle understood the importance of fulfilling small dreams, so a child can embrace life’s possibilities and potential.

“Her life's work involved helping make their small dreams come true,” Murphy said while aiming to raise $600 from the craft fair to support the cause.

A continual stream of people came through the doors of the Wilmot Community Centre for the craft fair, which ran from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

To learn more about the Esther Finkle Fund, visit estherfinklefund.com or go to Facebook.com/EstherFinkleFund.

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