Featured photo provided by enCourage Kids
On Thursday, June 13th, the enCourage Kids Foundation hosted their 17th annual “enCourage Kids Night” at Citi Field during the Cardinals and Mets game. Big names such as NY Mets Hall of Famer Mookie Wilson, former NY Jets Erik Coleman, his wife Sabrina Coleman and 2018 Miss New York Dorian Solimano were all in attendance.
enCourage Kids is a remarkable nonprofit that works to “humanize healthcare for children and their families by resourcing impact-driven pediatric programs and supporting the Child Life Community.” Each year, the organization plans events such as Six Flags trips, camping adventures, sports events, and more. Last year, they provided nearly $1 million to hospitals across the nation. The funding helped with everything from hospital admission and comfort kits to creative arts and technology.
I spoke with Joseph Solimano, father of Dorian Solimano, and he really put into perspective how amazing enCourage Kids had been to their family. “They really do it all,” says Joe. “They plan all sorts of events like tonight, and they do a great job of making everything feel personal.”
Joe’s daughter, Dorian, is quite an amazing individual. She was diagnosed with congenital heart disease at an early age and has been fighting it ever since. Although she is only ten-years-old, she holds the esteemed title of Miss New York, is a National Ambassador for American Heart Association, and will be wearing brands, such as Versace, while walking during Fashion Week. As a part of enCourage Kids Night, Dorian had the honor of throwing the first pitch, and she did it as flawlessly as you expect a model to!
Even Dorian vouched for how wonderful enCourage Kids is and said that all of their events were her favorite “especially tonight… and the camping trip!”
Michele Hall Duncan is the President & CEO of the enCourage Kids Foundation, and she loves the organization with a visible passion. She walked around the event and greeted every single family with so much charisma, which instantly put a smile on each child’s face. She started as a volunteer with the foundation and eventually took on a full-time role in 1996.
Duncan explains that the organization does not solely focus on the negative of any situation. “We host events to get the whole family involved- siblings, parents, grandparents, everyone!” says Duncan. “We make it our mission to make sure that no one feels left out.”
The enCourage Kids Foundation is actively seeking volunteers and donations to support their cause. Find a way to help a foundation that provides so much hope and happiness here.