FWCS kicks off Riley Children’s Foundation fundraiser

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Media release from Fort Wayne Community Schools:

FWCS kicks off Riley Children’s Foundation fundraiser

Fort Wayne Community Schools kicked off its annual fundraiser for Riley Hospital for Children today with a goal of regaining the title of Miracle Corporation. To become a Miracle Corporation each school in the district must raise $1 for each student in the building. FWCS earned the designation in 2008 and 2009.

Last year, students and staff raised $18,595 with 23 of the district’s 51 schools earning Miracle School status. Two schools – Croninger Elementary and Wayne High School – raised more than $1,000 each. The district-wide fundraiser is part of the Kids Caring & Sharing Program, which gives students a chance to help other children. The program is a special project of the Indiana Association of School Principals (IASP) to support Riley Children’s Foundation.

“Riley has touched the lives of so many people in our community and in our schools. There is not a school in our district that does not have a Riley connection,” said Croninger Principal Rebecca Dennis, who represents District 3 of the Indiana Association of School Principals on the Kids Caring & Sharing Advisory Board. “When children find out they have a classmate going through extensive medical treatment at Riley, they often want to help, but they don’t know how. Kids Caring & Sharing gives them an opportunity to make a difference and support their classmates.”

While most FWCS schools participate in Hearts for Riley in February, some schools have already completed their campaigns for the year while others will host their fundraisers later in the school year. Kekionga Middle School and Weisser Park Elementary School have already raised enough money to earn Miracle School status.

Riley Hospital is Indiana’s only comprehensive hospital dedicated exclusively to the care of children. The hospital opened in 1924 in honor of the famous Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley. Each year, nearly 250,000 patient visits take place at Riley. Children come from each county in the state, across the nation and throughout the world. The hospital has a strong affiliation with the Indiana University School of Medicine, making it the leader in pediatric care in the state and the region.

Each year families from Allen County turn to Riley for care nearly 4,000 times; families from Northeast Indiana visit Riley nearly 9,000 times. Many of these children are also being treated at either Parkview or Lutheran facilities, and their doctors in Allen County work closely with Riley doctors. Of the appointments from Allen County, 193 are inpatients visits and 3,708 are outpatient visits. When students help Riley, they are helping their friends and classmates.

“The collective energy and dedication Fort Wayne Community Schools is remarkable,” said Karen D. Roller, Assistant Vice President of Development at Riley Children’s Foundation. “Students develop an understanding of the importance of giving, while truly making a difference for the patients at Riley Hospital.”

The partnership between FWCS and Riley Children’s Foundation is of mutual benefit. In 2009, the Foundation awarded Blessings in a Backpack a $10,000 grant. Blessings in a Backpack seeks to end hunger among FWCS students by sending a bag full of food home with students for the weekend.

Throughout February, many schools will have spirit days or other events to raise money for Riley. Each of FWCS’ 51 school buildings and several administrative areas work to raise money to reach Miracle status. Those not working in or attending an FWCS school can drop off donations at any FWCS building, including the Grile Administrative Center downtown at 1200 S. Clinton St.

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