Thursday, April 02, 2009

Cheer for Life: Haven of Hope for Kids

Cheer New York went on a special trip to a woodsy New Jersey town, got lost (what else?) and encountered one post office, one traffic light, and a place with one huge heart.

On Sunday, March 8th, a caravan of cheerleaders from Cheer New York visited the town of Hope, N.J., an hour-and-half drive from New York City, to present a $3,500 check to Haven of Hope for Kids. The charity provides a retreat for kids with debilitating illnesses such as sickle cell anemia and cancer; they get to relax and get away from all the stresses of medical treatment with their families. All for free.
These kids get to fish for trout or bass, have a barbeque in the backyard, visit a farm and see the animals, go swimming or rafting on the Delaware River, ice skate and sled in the winter, and enjoy the rides and water park at the Land Of Make Believe. The organization provides grocery shopping money and covers incidentals for the family on their stay at a lovely and cozy cottage that Cheer New York got to visit. It's an amazing experience, but it's an experience that needs continued financial support.

In the fall and winter of 2008, Cheer New York raised money for Haven of Hope by fundraising at bars on Bingo nights, soliciting donations at Gay Expo and gift wrapping at several Barnes & Noble stores during the holiday shopping season. The team was the town's special guest as it was welcomed with open arms by about 60 or so Haven of Hope volunteers and administrators at a party meant to acknowledge everyone's contribution. The team performed a little cheer and a stunt that wowed Hope's residents, who afterward shared stories of the special kids that have come to stay in town. They were so happy to have the team there that they've invited Cheer New York to come back for a barbecue in late May or June.

Hope may be a small town, but what Cheer New York saw was a special place filled with big hearts. -Raymund

(In picture: Clay, Haven of Hope's Pamela Faris and Carola Walton, Mayor Tim McDonough, Felipe, Nicholas F, Rick, Tiffany M and Raymund)

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At 2:13 AM, Anonymous evette said...

u all rock and fly well too!


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