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Gearing up to the 2014 Hopewell Harvest Fair (HHF) on September 27th, we at MercerMe will be highlighting many of the HHF grant recipients in our “HHF Proudly Supports” series. HHF is not just a fun one-day event; its giving lasts the whole year through via grants to local non-profits.

On Tuesday May 6, 2014, Sunshine Foundation’s All-Volunteer Mercer County Chapter is chartering the Foundation’s 93rd “Operation Dreamlift” out of the Trenton Mercer Airport, at the National Guard Aviation Facility, located at 152 Scotch Road, West Trenton, NJ.

“Operation Dreamlift” is a Sunshine Foundation event that transports 80-100 chronically ill, seriously ill, physically challenged, or abused children, and a caregiver each to Disney World in Orlando, Florida for one day. The Dreamlift is a special opportunity to give children with illness some much needed hope and allow them to forget about their daily challenges. Each child receives airfare, theme park ticket, meals and a souvenir to remember their trip courtesy of Sunshine Foundation.

11872_651629461530171_1084033807_nAt 5:30 a.m., the very excited children begin arriving by bus while community official, marching bands, mascots and characters to greet the children to celebrate the special day before they board the plane. State and local police officers assist the children on and off the plane, physically lifting some on and off the plane. The children are from low-income families so, in many cases, this is the first time they have been on a plane.

Anyone is welcome to attend to join the celebration and send off the children for their exciting adventure.

“It truly is a community event,” says Cathy DiCostanzo, Sunshine Foundation All-Volunteer Mercer County Chapter President.

In the past, there has been a huge turn-out, so make sure you are at the National Guard hanger at 6:30 a.m. to join the others to see the kids off!

Sunshine Foundation is a 37-year-old charitable organization with a mission to answer the dreams of chronically ill, seriously ill, physically challenged and abused children ages three to 18 of low income families. Since its founding in Philadelphia, the Foundation has answered over 37,000 dreams of children nationwide. 

To learn more about Sunshine Foundation and how to help make more dreams to come true, visit the website, www.sunshinefoundation.org, or contact Kristin Fallstick, Director of Development, at 215-396-4770 or kristin@sunshinefoundation.org.

The Hopewell Harvest Fair is proud to support this and many other local organizations and events. If you want to get involved in helping out, please email volunteer@hopewellharvestfair.org.

MercerMe’s Mary Galioto excited to be on the board of the Hopewell Harvest Fair this year and to help promote the HHF and its various grant recipients. MercerMe will be represented at the Hopewell Harvest Fair this year. Come say hello!

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe, and a lawyer. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, photographing mushrooms, and misguided adventures in random hobbies. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, serves on the volunteer Board of Trustees of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), serves on the Hopewell Borough Board of Health, is a member of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance, and holds the elected position as the Hopewell Borough Democratic Committee Municipal Chairwoman.

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