CAA Niagara Announces Recipients of its Fourth Annual Community Boost Funding Program

THOROLD, ON (June 2, 2022) – Earlier today, CAA Niagara hosted a small event at its Thorold Branch to reveal the newest recipients of its Community Boost funding program. We’re pleased to announce that Pathstone Mental Health and Heartland Forest Nature Experience were the two charities selected for this year’s program.

“We’re truly thrilled to once again provide support to two integral organizations in our community,” said Peter Van Hezewyk, President and CEO of CAA Niagara. “As our Community Boost family continues to grow, we feel humbled that this program has been able to assist a diverse group of charities, each fulfilling different needs across the Niagara Region. With the addition of Pathstone and Heartland to our program, we’ve expanded our support to help more children and families within Niagara. We look forward to working closely with each charity over the next year.”

“CAA Niagara is present in nearly half of all households across the Niagara Region. Through Community Boost, we’re not only able to spread the word about these important charities among our network, but also provide our Members with hope and reassurance that there are programs available to support them and their loved ones,” said Janice Thomson, Board Chair of CAA Niagara. “Pathstone Mental Health and Heartland Forest have been especially vital to our community during the last two years, as the pandemic has had a significant impact on people’s mental health and wellness.”

During the event, Pathstone Mental Health and Heartland Forest Nature Experience were each presented with a $10,000 cheque. Over the next 12 months, the two charities will receive various forms of marketing assistance, volunteerism and fundraising support from the club. CAA Niagara also decaled a fleet vehicle in each of the charities’ branding, which were unveiled during the event earlier today. A flatbed was chosen to wear Pathstone’s colours and a Ford Maverick, the first hybrid vehicle to join the CAA Niagara fleet, was fittingly chosen for Heartland Forest.

“As the regional provider of children’s mental health care across Niagara, CAA’s Community Boost mission aligns with Pathstone’s goal to ensure kids and families have the support they need, where they live,” said Kim Rossi, Director of Philanthropy & PR at Pathstone Foundation. “Our newest site in Welland will open at the end of the year and will deliver on our vision to provide mental health care to kids and families when they need it. Over the past 25 months, the need for community-based, barrier-free mental health care has never been more prevalent or talked about. We are grateful to CAA for this opportunity.”

“We are grateful that with the support of CAA Niagara we will be able to create more opportunities for outdoor exploration,” said Elisabeth Graham, Executive Director, Heartland Forest Nature Experience. “We are passionate about providing all ages and all abilities with first-hand opportunities to experience and discover all that being active in the local natural environment has to offer.”

This year, CAA Niagara received nearly 40 Community Boost applications from local non-profits, each representing a significant need within the Niagara Region. The club’s newly established internal Community Committee narrowed down the applications to a shortlist of finalists. All CAA Niagara employees were then given the opportunity to vote for two charities that they felt best fit the club’s core values. CAA Niagara would like to thank all the charitable organizations that submitted applications for the Community Boost program this year and encourages eligible candidates to apply again next year. To learn more about CAA Niagara’s Community Boost program, visit


Pathstone Mental Health is a community-based organization whose mission it is to provide innovative and effective treatment for all children in Niagara struggling with mental health issues. Thanks to immense support from its donors and volunteers, Pathstone Foundation is able to expand its programs and services, enabling them to see more kids and families each year. Pathstone’s in-person Mental Health Walk-In Clinics are located across Niagara and are open Monday-Friday. For more info, visit


Heartland Forest’s mission is to inspire the lives of people of all ages and abilities to respect, protect and enjoy the world of nature. Programs include environmental education and inclusive adventure camps; adaptable fitness and sports activities for children, adults and seniors; brain injury rehabilitation; work experience programs for persons with disabilities; and a unique and accessible wood working shop. Located in Niagara Falls, Heartland Forest is home to an all-season, accessible outdoor space including 4 kms of trails meandering through grasslands, wetlands and one of the largest stands of Carolinian Forest in the Niagara Peninsula. They are open to the public year-round – FREE OF CHARGE. For more information, visit


Founded in 1911 as the St. Catharines Automobile Club with just 16 members, CAA Niagara has grown to more than 145,000 Members with five Niagara locations; St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Welland, Thorold and Grimsby. A not-for-profit membership organization, CAA Niagara, provides emergency road services, travel, insurance and Member rewards.

For further comment, please contact:
Desirée Swance, Public Relations Specialist
Mobile: (289) 547-8478 |

CAA Niagara Community Boost Vehicles