In November, we distributed 1200 winter coats to children in Milwaukee and Racine! We worked with the Brewers Community Foundation to locate two schools in Milwaukee. In Racine, we handed out coats to students at Julian Thomas.
Koos for Kids delivered 50 coats to Halo (Homeless Assisted Living Organization) last week. Here are some of the kids with their new coats.
What a joy it was delivering over 700 winter coats to children in need. We were at 2 great schools in Milwaukee today - Hayes Bilingual Elementary and Parkview Elementary.
Manny was born on 10/7/06 in Beaver Dam. To his parent’s surprise, Manny was born with a variety of birth defects. Most noticeable was a birth defect called Bilateral Microtia (no ears) and Bilateral Atresia (no open ear canals); because his ear canals are completely closed he was pronounced legally deaf at birth. Combined with his other birth defects, the doctors say Manny is one is a million, literally. The severity of his birth defects, along with the complexity of the others, makes his surgical situation very challenging.
Manny received a CT Scan last March which revealed excellent news – he could have surgery to open up his ear canals – allowing him to be able hear more effectively through air versus bone. The first surgery took place on 4/25/11 (Right Ear) with the second surgery (Left Ear) scheduled for 8/1/11.
As you can imagine, this is a lot for a 4 year old to handle. We wanted to give Manny a special day to remember. The Wilke’s are dedicated Brewer fans, so we gave them a day at the ballpark. The day started with Manny and his family touring the Brewer clubhouse where he was able to meet and talk with Brewer Players and Coaches. He received his very own “Wilke” Brewer jersey. He was able to go on the field and sit in the dugout to watch batting practice and then it was off to their seats to enjoy the Brewer game.
We first learned about Fischer Hansen in the Fall of 2010. Fischer was 3 years old at the time and had been diagnosed with Desmoplastic Medulloblastoma, a rapidly growing tumor of the cerebellum (which is on the lower, rear portion of the brain). In July of 2010 the tumor was removed, but results revealed that it was cancerous. Fischer would endure radiation treatment for 6 weeks followed by chemotherapy treatment – 9 cycles which covered about 46 weeks. On September 26, 2011, Fischer and his family will celebrate his last chemo treatment.
We wanted to help Fischer and his family and learned that it would be a huge help if we could supply them with equipment for his occupational and physical therapy. So, we did just that. Fischer is still recovering and continues therapy... He is also a huge Brewer fan, so we have special plans for Fischer and his family to enjoy a Brewer game in September.
Fischer with his new therapy equipment
As the seasons begin to change and the air becomes colder, it’s time to bring out the winter gear. Koos for Kids realizes that many area kids don’t own mittens, hats, or coats to keep them warm. For the past three years, Marcus (Koos) and the Koos for Kids committee have provided coats to those who are less fortunate.
Koos for Kids visits area elementary and middle schools for assemblies and presents the children with new winter coats. This year we continued the tradition and purchased approximately 400 coats and were able to once again warm the hearts of many area children during the winter months.
In January of 2008, we had the privilege of meeting Brittany Michna. She is a sweet, sweet girl who has gone through some extremely tough times the past year and a half.
Brittany was diagnosed in October 2006 with Neuroblastoma, a form of childhood cancer. She spent a lot of time at Children’s Hospital battling this disease but was determined to get better. Through many treatments, prayers, and constant support from her family, Brittany is now doing very well. She was able to return to school this year and be part of the volleyball team and cheerleading squad.
We were able to brighten her day by giving her a shopping spree to Mayfair Mall. We were also able to encourage her increasing faith in the Lord by presenting her with a new Bible.
In November 2007, Koos for Kids donated 300 winter coats to children in need at four Racine schools.
Marcus Hanel, Anthony Porcaro, and Chris Joyner (Milwaukee Brewer’s Strength Coach) had the opportunity to encourage students and share about Koos for Kids. After hearing them speak, the kids were very eager to try on their new coats and wear them home.
Sorting the coats before the kids arrive.
3 students happy with their new coats.
Jill Hanel helps a student try on her new coat.
Bringing a Family Together
In November 2007, we were able to help reunite David Penza with his family. David has been living in Scottsdale, Arizona undergoing treatment for his cancer.
November was a very rough month for David and his health was very poor. We flew eight family members down to Arizona to be with and encourage David during a very rough time. With the encouragement of David’s family and many, many prayers, the Lord has blessed David with increasing health and we are proud to say that he is now doing very well.
Marcus and Jill had a chance to see David, his Mom, and his Grandma while in Arizona for Spring Training. David continued to give God the glory during these difficult times.
Marcus with David Penza at our 1st Annual Dinner / Auction.
Frank and Cheri Penza (David’s parents) the day we dedicated the Penza Pavilion.
In October 2007, we learned about Sarah Peterson. Sarah was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma which is a cancerous tumor. Sarah was told that she would need to receive chemo treatments for the next year.
She would have to travel to Houston, Texas where she would stay for six weeks receiving chemo treatments five-days-a-week. We wanted to know how we could help her.
Since she was apart from her friends and school, she mentioned that a laptop would be very helpful. In November 2007, we were able to present Sarah with a new laptop.
Sarah with Marcus at our 2009 Annual Dinner & Auction.