Young People Come Together for Kessler Foundation
2012-10-19 11:36:40 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nineteen students from New Jersey and New York are serving on Kessler Foundation’s first Youth Advisory Committee (YAC), including Miss New Jersey Teen U.S. Kendal Barrett. The Committee is working on planning and fundraising for the Foundation’s 11th Annual Stroll ‘N Roll (and RUN!), scheduled on Sunday, October 21st at Brookdale Park.
“Stroll ‘N Roll (and RUN!) is Kessler Foundation’s signature event that brings together people of all ages and abilities,” said Pam DeLuca, chief development officer of Kessler Foundation. “We’re so proud that these students are volunteering their time to be a change in the lives of people with disabilities. They are the perfect example that anyone, at any age, can make a difference in the world.”
YAC members range from 7th grade to high school seniors. They volunteer their time in exchange for community service hours. Throughout the months leading to Stroll 'N Roll (and RUN!), they have been forming teams to participate in the event and thinking of interesting ways to raise money for the Foundation. Ideas include organizing a car wash, bake sale, and even developing a gaming app for Android devices.
Mohnish Sabhani, a 13 year old from Edison, has been developing games since age 5. Interested in helping an organization that serves people with disabilities while also putting his skills to use, Sabhani developed "The Target"—a game of timing—for all Android devices. While players can enjoy the free game, it gives a brief explanation of Kessler Foundation's work and provides a simple way to donate. So far, "The Target" has raised more than $400.
Barrett was crowned Miss New Jersey Teen in March 2012. In additional to being a junior in high school and playing on her school's field hockey team, Barrett enjoys volunteering for non-profits, including Kessler Foundation. She will also sing the national anthem to kick off Stroll ‘N Roll (and RUN!).
"I’m honored to be a part of the Advisory Committee,” Barrett said. “There’s nothing more rewarding than knowing you were able to help another person. It’s really important to get out there and work with nonprofit organizations and give back in any way that you can. I plan to continue working with Kessler Foundation in the future.”
Stroll ‘N Roll (and RUN!) will be held on Sunday, October 21st at Brookdale Park in Bloomfield/Montclair, N.J., beginning at 8 a.m. Former football player Eric LeGrand and Miss Wheelchair N.J. Kim Biglin are also serving as event ambassadors.
Runners and wheelchair racers may compete in USATF-certified 5K or 10K courses, while others can stroll or roll in the family-fun 5K around Brookdale Park. The Kids Activity Zone will offer carnival games, snacks, face painting, balloon animals, Ronald McDonald and a photo booth. Information Alley will feature exhibit booths from local businesses, sponsors, and disability service representatives. Celebrities and public officials will attend.
All proceeds from Stroll 'N Roll (and RUN!) support Kessler Foundation’s rehabilitation research, disability employment initiatives, and the N.J. chapter of ThinkFirst—a national injury prevention program for kindergarten through high school seniors.
For more information and online registration, visit www.kesslerfoundation.org/SNR.
About Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation is one of the largest public charities in the field of disability. Kessler Foundation Research Center focuses on improving function and quality of life for persons with injuries of the spinal cord and brain, stroke, multiple sclerosis and other chronic neurological conditions. Kessler Foundation Program Center fosters new approaches to the persistently high rates of unemployment among people disabled by injury or disease. Targeted grantmaking funds promising programs across the nation. Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, people recovering from catastrophic injuries and stroke, and young adults striving for independence are among the thousands of people finding jobs and training for careers as a result of the commitment of Kessler Foundation.
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Photo courtesy of Fadil Berisha
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