HooplaHa's Amazing Kids Of 2017
In case you missed them, these super kids did some amazing things in 2017!
1) Shane Boylan
Did you know that in the U.S. depression affects over 20 million adults each year? That's one in ten adults. Shane knew he had to do something to help so he started a fundraiser. In conjunction with the Hope for Depression Research Foundation, Shane set up the Depression Doesn't Ride 10-mile bike ride fundraiser in their town of Highland Park, New Jersey in honor of his father. "My dad liked to ride his bike, so I decided to do a bike ride. We looked for someone to help us and that was Hope for Depression Research Foundation."
2) Jessica Meyer of SURVIVORville
Jessica is a brain cancer survivor, who is a part of the Women Survivors Alliance. The Women Survivors Alliance is 501(c)(3) organization that was founded by women cancer survivors for women cancer survivors. They celebrate survivorship and its journey, and ultimately give hope to others.
3) Swim Across America
In 2012, Mary Ellen's son Jonas was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the retina, when he was just 3 years old. After getting his right eye removed and starting chemotherapy, just 3 months later Jonas beat his cancer and was fitted with a prosthetic eye.
The same year, the president of Swim Across America Janel Joregensen-McArdle and former Stanford teammate of Mary Ellen reached out to her to talk about her family's story. Swim Across America is non-profit that puts on open water swim events to raise money for children like Jonas who are fighting cancer. After speaking to the group in Atlanta, Mary Ellen decided to start Team Jonas—and was ecstatic to use swimming to help find a cure for childhood cancer. "I felt that our gift to Swim Across America was our family's story," says Mary Ellen.
4) Jack Cunningham
Jack Cunningham is a normal kid. He does well in school. He loves playing sports and hanging out with friends and family. He also happens to be missing both of his legs... But he hasn't let his condition stop him from living life to the fullest.
5) Jonathan's Dream
In the early 90s, Amy's son Jonathan was born with spinal muscular atrophy (which is similar to Lou Gherig's Disease). One day while at the park with 9-month-old Jonathan, Amy noticed a young girl in a wheelchair, who was unable to play on the jungle gyms and other park features. This inspired Amy to action—she decided that kids living with disabilities like her son should have access to parks designed for their unique needs. Two weeks later, Jonathan passed away.
Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day! In 2013, we created this video to mark the 50th anniversary of one of the most moving and poignant events of the last century -- the delivery of the "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. 55 years later, the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. still inspire millions across the world since the day they were spoken on August 8, 1963.
For the past 7 years, Trumbull High School's We The People: The Citizen and the Constitution Program, under the leadership of Social Studies Teacher Katie Boland, has won the We The People state championship title. With more than 28 million students and 75,000 educators who have participated in the Program since its inception in 1987, that's a tremendous feat. This past year the team also came home from the National Competition with the UNIT 3 AWARD or the award for the best non-finalist team for expertise in each unit of competition (How Changes in the Constitution Have Furthered the Ideas in the Declaration of Independence).
Started as a social experiment in Venice Beach, California, the Community Healing Gardens has grown into so much more. Co-founder Nicole Landers initially wanted to develop a framework for introducing new and long-standing residents of her neighborhood to one another, and her mind made a natural leap.
We've met a lot of amazing organizations and non-profits over the years, especially ones that do amazing things to help shelter dogs, who are close to euthanasia, find love and forever homes. Some of these organizations are small and community based, while others cover a larger regional or national footprint. No matter their size, what they do to support these dogs is nothing short of inspirational.
The Trenton Thunder, a minor league baseball affiliate of the NY Yankees, has an unusual way of getting through the dog days of summer. If you attend their home games, you will find Golden Retrievers serving as the "bat dogs" and mascots for the minor league baseball team.
Air Hollywood is the world's largest aviation-themed entertainment studio, but that's not the only feature that makes it special. Every year, for one night only, Air Hollywood opens its hangar to the public for a special event called Open Sky for Autism.
Do you ever wonder how veterans cope with life once they come home from combat? After being trained to be on high-alert 24/7, what's it like for them to integrate back into everyday society? It raises the question: our military members protect us, but who protects them?