Alright Southwest Missouri – put this on your radar for next year, especially if you have really little ones who’ll be ready to ride tricycles.
A HUGE THANK YOU to A&B Cycle for checking over each tricycle and making the necessary repairs and conducting safety checks before kids took to the streets of our cardboard city.
Thanks to the Springfield Greene-County Park Board and the Springfield Wolfpack, we also hosted a Try-Sport-a-thon for the older kids…where everyone got a chance to try everything from football, tennis, archery and volleyball – to hockey and ice skating. It was a blast! All the money raised during this event benefited St. John’s Jane Pitt Pediatric Cancer Center here in Springfield.
Help us with Random Acts of Kindness Week!
For fun, we also hosted an adult obstacle course – where the “bigger kids” raced tricycles through park, completing challenges along the way. Each tricycle pulled a stuffed bear in a wagon (and the bear couldn’t fall out during the race). At the first stop, competitors had to transport “urine samples” (yellow water) without spilling the contents. After several other stops and challenges, they navigated the IV pole slalom and raced back to the starting line. Thanks to “Flash” with the Springfield Fire Department (Captain Rusty Darnell) for coming out in full costume to compete in the first race and to have fun with the kids. Thanks as well to Officer Millirons with the Springfield Police and St. Johns Paramedic Jon Shikles for having fun with us during the first race. I believe it was Greg from Target, though – who won the heat!
Needless to say, it was an emotional start to the day, as this year’s trike-a-thon was in memory of Chase Shlenker, who lost his battle with cancer nearly two years ago, after treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Chase’s sister Kaylee was there, and she led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Then St. Jude patient Elise Cunningham kicked-off the trike-a-thon as our first rider of the day…and hers is a remarkable story of courage and recovery. Thanks to Grandma Becky for providing an amazing perspective on the Miracle of St. Jude.
I can’t say enough about the talented students from Pelligrino’s School of Music. Kaylee, Brian, Jordan, Mason and Sean are all members of a group called “NRG” – and they were fantastic…keeping the music going throughout the day.
To all of the sponsors and participants – thank you so much for your commitment to community and compassion for kids. We look forward to making next year BIGGER and BETTER! To Chanda Leas – the brain behind the event and a great organization “Little Hands, Big Helpers,” thank you so much for including us – your motivation and empathy are an inspiration. Keep up the great work!