Did you hear we have a new partner helping make miracles for CMN Hospitals across the United States? Mimi's Cafe has joined forces with our hospitals, and today marks the first of "Mimi's for Miracles!" Now through the month of July, Mimi's locations in 24 states are asking customers to lend a hand in hope and healing. Here are 5 reasons we're loving this campaign.
1. Dine at Mimi's this next month and make a $1 or $5 donation to your local CMN Hospital! A $5 donation comes with a Balloon lapel pin, and up to $30 in coupon savings.
2. Mark your calendars for Friday, July 6, which is "Mimi's Muffins for Miracles" Day. Receive a free Strawberry Shortcake muffin all day long with each dine-in order and donation. Who can resist...
3. Every Tuesday night in July is family night at Mimi's Cafe! Kids eat free with each accompanying adult meal and donation to CMN Hospitals. Get the coupon here (make sure to print it!):
4. Kids can do their part to help lift spirits by creating a Mimi's for Miracles coloring sheet with a get-well message that will be displayed in CMN Hospitals.
5. Mimi's is also rallying for this important cause on its social networks. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter for the latest in "Mimi's for Miracles" updates. On Instagram? Guests can snap a photo flying high with Mimi's Miracle Balloon in-restaurant display and tag #Mimis4Miracles and upload or MimiCafe.com to have it featured on Mimi's Facebook page and website.
We're getting revved up for today's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 this afternoon! The reason: Marcos Ambrose, driver of the No. 9 Stanley Ford Fusion, is Racing for a Miracle! What that means: Ssould he win today's race in Sonoma (and considering he took the pole on Friday, there's a great chance he might!), Stanley is prepared to donate $1 million to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals on behalf of our friends at the Ace Hardware Foundation.
Check out some photos below, and make sure to root for Marcos as he "Races for a Miracle" this afternoon starting at 3 p.m. Eastern on TNT!
Marcos Ambrose with Miracle Children (from L-R): Zachary, Parmina, Katherine and Casey.
Marcos, our Miracle Kids, the Stanley/Ace Hardware and CMN Hospitals teams celebrate $100,000 donated to CMN Hospitals.
Our 2011 California Champion ambassador Parmina shows off her name on Ambrose's No. 9 Stanley Ford Fusion. Ambrose will race with her name, the three Honorary Crew Member children, and our 2012 Champion ambassadors from each state painted on his car.
Zac Johnson is the director of Dance Marathon, a national fundraising program benefiting CMN Hospitals. Follow him at @CMN_Zac.
When you think about college students, it's easy to go for the clichés: four years of a carefree attitude filled with parties and occasional studying. But there is a very important side to the college experience that is not being shared nearly enough. It has the power to raise millions of dollars, engage thousands of future leaders, and shine a bright light on America's future.
It's called Dance Marathon and across this nation, hundreds of schools and thousands of student leaders are continually out-fundraising professional fundraisers as they strive, year after year, to grow a proud tradition at their school. A tradition that is based on something simple and pure- throw the best party on campus for 12…24…36 hours in honor of the children treated at their local Children's Miracle Network Hospital.
BuckeyeThon at Ohio State University
The money these young volunteers have raised (over $60 million since the program began) seems mind-blowing at times. How is this all accomplished? How do they continue to raise more, year after year, in spite of all the challenges? It really can be distilled down to one key ingredient. Passion.
Experiencing passion in its purest form was what drove me, tears in my eyes, into a Chicago alleyway this past April. It was on a warm, sun-drenched day that represented the culminating weekend of the most successful semester for our Dance Marathon program ever. On the campus of DePaul University, student leaders in their inaugural Dance Marathon were about to accomplish something no other school had done before: break a six-figure total in their first year.
But it wasn't the astronomical funds raised, or bringing the national program I love to my old hospital, or even seeing the smiles on the faces of the many Children's Memorial Hospital patient families who I'm lucky to still call friends that made me flee the DePaul student rec center to compose myself… it was experiencing the passion of the students there- and by extension their peers across the nation- who in that moment of their first Dance Marathon become among the most loyal champions for this cause and the kids we serve.
From up-and-coming programs like The Ohio State University, University of Connecticut, and University of Maryland who have done so much to revolutionize the way we fundraise, doubling year after year, to all the programs who fight through difficult years based solely on their belief in the mission. It is that drive to do better, to strive higher, to believe in something so much and so passionately that these leaders refuse to live the cliché'd college life-style. They refuse to wait to change the world. They rise as one to make a huge impact in the lives of the 17 million children our CMN Hospitals serve.
If you've been to a Dance Marathon this year, you know exactly what I'm talking about. It is a success measured not by increments, but by great strides. It is cherishing the value of a child's day being brightened and backing up that small miracle with the life-saving funds our hospitals so desperately need.
Hanging with Miracle Kids at Purdue University in 2010
It is pure passion, unrestrained, that our country's next generation has tapped into with Dance Marathon. And it is that pure passion — combined with talent, drive, and dedication — that will carry Children's Miracle Network Hospitals to new heights.
DePaul, along with Auburn University and the University of Northern Iowa, may have been in their first year- but they've already embraced the passion that fuels our programs nationwide. Their records may or may not hold up for very long, but their success represents the success behind Dance Marathon. It is the success that can only be achieved through pure passion.
Watching these records be broken, you'll be witness to a new generation falling in love with, and forever championing the cause we all hold so dear. You'll see what pure passion looks like, and why it is that same passion that can truly change the world. Good luck keeping a dry eye:
Lucy Senadjian is a mother and Walmart Safety Supervisor at Store #2985 in Fresno, California.
Walmart's Children's Miracle Network Hospitals fundraising campaign is a special time for her as it merges a cause close to her heart with the job she loves. Throughout the campaign, Lucy’s Walmart—like other Walmart and Sam’s Club stores across the country—raises funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Any associate who has a soft spot for kids feels a connection to this worthy cause but for Lucy, her connection is personal.
Lucy pauses for a photo at her Walmart store.
Her now 20-year-old daughter Ashley has endured nearly 98 surgeries at Children’s Hospital of Central California, a CMN Hospital, starting as an infant. Her entire life has been filled with hospital visits and treatments after she was diagnosed with a protein C deficiency and other health issues. Lucy has felt the comfort of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals throughout this two-decade journey.
Ashley returning home from one of her treatments and cuddling her stuffed animal, who had to have a hospital ID band at Ashley's request.
Lucy notes how Children’s Hospital of Central California went above and beyond, helping Ashley integrate back into school after she missed 2nd grade. They helped explain good and bad news to Lucy as a mother and knew how to talk to Ashley as a child and patient. And, perhaps most important, they created a roadmap for Ashley’s specialized treatment when one had not existed before.
At Children’s Hospital, the neurology department, emergency examination area and outpatient clinic are all dedicated to Walmart and Sam’s Club. These services are available thanks to the dedicated associates making miracles happen for kids like Ashley by asking for donations. Lucy and many other parents are so grateful.
Our 2012 New Mexico Champion Kyle Stepp shares his thoughts on graduating high school and what life has taught him thus far. Congratulations to this amazing young man! Kyle was treated at our Network's The University of New Mexico Children's Hospital.
The Champions trip was an experience that was not to be forgotten. I was able to spend time with people who understand how precious life is, and appreciate every aspect of it.
The week I spent in DC and Orlando created a special atmosphere that I never wanted to leave. As I entered my senior year of high school, the months following the Champions trip have been life-changing!
Serving as the New Mexico Champion has helped to give me the skills and resources necessary to succeed in life. Because of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals I want to live a life in service, whether it is in politics or as a CEO of a foundation. I plan on doing whatever that can help better this world.
I would never take my cancer back; because I wouldn’t want to see anyone else face this horrible disease. If it wasn’t for cancer, I wouldn’t be able to give the hope needed to kids during their battle and raise money towards a cure.
I ended my high school experience with one busy schedule, as I was a member of seven clubs and president of four of them. I had the honor of serving as a class officer every year of high school and as the First Vice-President of the State of New Mexico. I started my term on the Mayor of Albuquerque’s Youth Advisory council, where I advise him on what’s pertinent to the youth of Albuquerque. On May 17th, I graduated from Del Norte High School in the top of my class with a 3.979 GPA. I was thrilled and honored to deliver the commencement speech that day!
Though times got challenging, I didn’t let continuous chemotherapies, surgeries and checks prevent me from accomplishing my goals and going places with my life. At graduation I was recognized as…
Class of 2012 Albuquerque Public Schools Selfless Senior • James Ledwith Memorial Scholar • Erin Trejeque Memorial Scholar • American Cancer Society Great West Division Scholar • University of New Mexico Scholars Scholar • Class of 2012 “Who’s Who” • West Leadership Awardee • Senior Superlative • Social Studies Department Outstanding Senior • Choral Department Outstanding Senior • Student Government Outstanding Senior • New Mexico Department of Education Outstanding Senior for my academic performance • Senior Class Vice President • New Mexico Association of Student Councils 1st Vice President • Honor Cords: National Honor Society, Student Senate, Blood Drive Coordinator
In fall 2012, I will be attending the University of New Mexico — the same institution that I received treatment — where I will be studying strategic communications and political science. I have been blessed to receive over $22,000 in scholarships a year, and look forward to putting every dollar to good use for my education.
I know for certain that I'll be a member of the Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) Fraternity Eta Kappa Chapter and be as involved in school as I was in high school.
I was excited to find out that the ATO Eta Kappa Chapter had selected Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals as one of their philanthropies. I'm proud to say I will be a founding member and co-executive director of Lobo Dance Marathon benefiting UNM Children’s Hospitals, New Mexico’s only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. While in college I am going to continue my philanthropy work with numerous foundations.
If being a Miracle Child and Champion has taught me anything, it's that I have learned to not let adversity hold me back from what I set my mind on. Because of CMN Hospitals, I am alive today so I can help make this world a better place to live.
To the graduating class of 2012 and all Miracle Children and Champions moving on to new chapters, I say, "Go out and make a difference for others. Because the biggest change you might find is within you."
Shaving my head in early 2012 for cancer awareness.
Have you ever wondered what kind of people donate to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals? We want to profile the people who give back in an extraordinary way. Meet Eric Hada, who has donated $10,000 to our organization over the past 10 years while volunteering with children at Walt Disney World.
Eric volunteers as a transportation host, chauffeuring young CMN Hospitals patients and their families along with celebrities around Walt Disney World. He loves to interact with the kids and their families, and especially loves to hear the stories of their challenges and their triumphs.
Eric also volunteers in other ways for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, like helping to stuff envelopes and wrap invitations. "Do the right thing and give back,” he says, “you never know when you will need someone's services."
Eric feels a close connection to the work done at our hospitals and the families that rely on them because of the many wonderful and heartfelt experiences he hears from the children he serves. Eric understands that families with a child in a medical crisis need to be able to turn to a local hospital that has the expertise to assist them, and Children's Miracle Network Hospitals supplies that support.
The Walt Disney Company recognizes Eric’s volunteer efforts and has awarded him the EARS to You grant for 10 of his 12 years volunteering at Walt Disney World. Each time he was awarded the $1,000 grant, Eric identified Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals as the charity of his choice. To-date, he's donated a total of $10,000 to our organization!
We are extremely grateful for Eric’s hard work and the dedication he shows for our cause. Eric has personally made a difference in the lives of hundreds of children and families. When Eric’s grant donations are taken into consideration, his efforts have touched the lives of countless children and families across the country. Without people like Eric, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals couldn’t be what it is today!
Eric greeting singer and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals patient Eileen Garrido at Orlando International Airport.
It's hard to believe it's been 29 years since we aired our first Telethon from the Osmond Studios in Orem, Utah. The date was May 29, 1983 and the mission was, as is today, to help as many kids as possible get better.
The stories shared, enthusiasm and memorable performances resulted in a bang: more than $4.7 million raised for our then-22 member hospitals. It was only the start, but what a fun one it was! Merlin Olsen, Marie Osmond, John Schneider and Marilyn McCoo helped ring in that first fundraising total, which you can see in this vintage video clip.
The tradition continues this weekend, with 55 markets airing their Telethon over the course of 3 days. We've been lucky to preview some of the segments, and we gaurantee you'll come away with some very clear stories of how your funds have helped families across North America and right in your back yard. CMN Hospitals co-founders Marie Osmond and John Schneider are back, as are a slew of other celebrity names.
We wouldn't be 170 hospitals-strong and more than $4 billion raised if it wasn't for that first Telethon. We hope you can tune in this weekend and watch some hope-and-healing funds in action.