We are trying something new this year. We will raise funds to support a local charity that provides on-the-street assistance to the poor. The charity has an annual budget of $200,000 and we would like to donate $100,000 to the charity and present it to them as a surprise at the event. The donation will have a meantingful impact on their ability to serve those in need. Someone from the charity will be present to receive the donation and talk about the good work they do but they will have no idea what is in store for them. It is risky to plan for but it will be fun to see how it plays out!
We will also provide an update on the Ukranian therapy center. Working with a local charity in Ukraine, we have an offer on a building that can be used as a school and therapy center for kids with disabilities. Once we acquire the building we can assess any additional needs to get it off the ground.
Below is a video Gretchen created several years back for orphanages in Ukraine. The video shows how much children with Down Syndrome are loved and also shows them examples of some of the therapies that can help the children. The video was translated into Russian. At 16:10 of the video you can see Ricky performance in front of 6,000 people at the State Fair and at 17:00 you can see Ksenya, a girl we adopted from Ukraine in February.
Our son, Stas, was diagnosed with Leukemia in February,2015. His chemotherapy treatment runs through April 2017. We are sympathetic to families with a single parent or those with two working parents who must juggle their work and family obligations during treatment and hospital stays. Often, one parent must quit their job to care for their child. We are raising money to help those with severe financial hardship due to the diagnosis and to help pay for many of the wonderful services at Children's that are not reimbursed by insurance.
The staff & patients at Children's made this video to Rachel Platten's Fight Song (she sang it at our 2013 concert!). The doctors and nurses treating Stas are in the video.