FWCS set to keep Miracle Corporation status - February 03, 2010
Fort Wayne Community Schools kicked off its annual fundraiser for Riley Hospital for Children today with a goal of keeping the title of Miracle Corporation for a third year. To become a Miracle Corporation each school in the district must raise $1 for each student in the building. Two years ago, FWCS students and staff raised $32,872 and became the largest Miracle Corporation ever. Last year, students and staff met the district's goal again by raising $31,413. In 2009, 33 of the district's 51 schools earned Miracle School status, including Croninger Elementary School where the official fundraiser kickoff was held. Croninger was one of the top FWCS collectors last year with more than $1,700 raised. That amount equals about $3 per student. 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 the Riley Children's Foundation. Riley is special to many people in the Fort Wayne Community Schools family because so many of us have a direct connection to Riley. Whether it is a son or daughter, a student, a neighbor or even their own experience, Riley has helped someone close to most of us, said Croninger Principal Rebecca Dennis, who represents IASP District #3 and Kids Caring & Sharing on the Riley Hospital Board. Many children have friends who have gone through sometimes extensive medical treatments and don't know what they can do to help. Kids Caring & Sharing gives students an opportunity to make a difference and support their classmates. 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, more than 220,000 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 3,000 times; families from Northeast Indiana visit Riley more than 6,500 times. Many of these children are also being treated at either Parkview or Lutheran facilities. Of the appointments from Allen County, 193 are inpatients visits and 2,795 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 Greg Williamson, 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 went a step further last year, when the Foundation awarded Blessings in a Backpack a $10,000. Blessings in a Backpack seeks to end hunger among FWCS students by sending a backpack full of food home with students for the weekend. Each of FWCS' 50 school buildings and several administrative areas will raise money to reach Miracle status. Those not working in or attending an FWCS school can drop off donations at any FWCS building.