The Optimist Club of Greater Vienna – once again – raised more than $32,00 from its annual “Growing Hope” fundraising campaign on behalf of families facing childhood cancer . The year-long mission culminates with Family Fun Day on the Town Green, and, as usual, prominent local citizens were dunked to raise money and local businesses donated raffle prizes and refreshments. The fun-day was held on a cloudy Saturday, Sept. 24, but a crowed turned out, nevertheless, for face-painting, bounce-house obstacle course, and children’s activities. Donaldson’s Run performed popular party music live and Vienna’s own “Singing Princesses” offered complimentary face-painting.
“So many businesses donated items for raffle and auction,” said Growing Hope family fun day co-chair Anna Ryjik. “Of course, of particular interest are Girls On the Run from Louise Archer who raised $2,200.”
Greater-Vienna Optimists, as well as members of the Madison Junior Optimist Club International volunteered for the event. And local business owners, as well as Del. Mark Keam (D-35), became dunk-ees for the cause.
Approximately $28,800 is going to Growing Hope, and the remaining $3,200 to Johns Hopkins Medical Center, pediatric oncology research and treatment.
Supporting research to treat childhood cancer and supporting children and families confronting childhood cancer is the common mission of Optimists International. The humanitarian organization focuses its strengths on today’s youth. The Optimists’ most fruitful fundraiser of the year is its annual Christmas tree sale. Proceeds from the tree sale benefit student competitions sponsored by the Optimists throughout the year, as well as Growing Hope. In a special program, the Optimists recognize outstanding police officers and fire and rescue workers.
The Vienna Farmers’ Market is hosted and run by the Vienna Optimists, and, the caboose along the W & OD trail in Vienna is managed by the club, as well.
Growing Hope is a resource for Northern Virginia families with a child treated for cancer. Growing Hope offers support and fun activities for all in the family.
Community members who donated services included the Donaldsons' Run band, the Vienna Singing Princesses, and Optimist Club of Greater Vienna volunteers, including Madison High School’s junior Optimists club.
Those businesses who discounted their service greatly included face painter Mel Walker, Fancytheclownandfriends, Balloon maker Violeta Peith, sweetpickletheclown.com, Brooke Rental, and
Big Country Amusements.
Starbucks on 207 Maple Avenue East, Dunkin Donuts Vienna, Manhattan Bagel, Foster's Grill, Vocelli Pizza, and Clyde’s Tysons donated food to be offered free to fun-day guests.
To join the Optimist Club of Greater Vienna or to support their youth-centric programs, go to http://www.optimistclubofgreatervienna.org/. Meetings are held two times a month in the evening and prospective members are welcomed to attend a meeting.