At 1:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon, October 7, students at E. Wilson Morrison Elementary School held a “Heavenly Hat Parade” as part of a national fundraising initiative for young cancer victims. Across the country. The Royal Examiner asked Michael Williams, EWM Student Support Coach and Early Act Faculty Advisor, about the school’s entry into the Heavenly Hats Foundation effort and the origins of that effort. Williams said he received an email from the foundation alerting him to the program and asking if the school would be interested in joining the effort. “And I said ‘sure’ – and our kids raised about $230, which is a really good effort for them,” Williams said as he and other school staff and administrators awaited the arrival of the student body’s Heavenly Hat Parade in the autumn sun. skies and temperatures climbing towards the mid 70s.
And talk about big things growing from humble beginnings!!! – Pointed in the right direction by Williams, a little online research indicated that Heavenly Hats started with a friendly and caring 10-year-old just over two decades ago. A visit to the Heavenly Hats Foundation website revealed that in 2001, in Green Bay, Wisconsin, then 10-year-old Anthony Leanna had an idea to help young cancer patients. Twenty-one years later, it has become a 501-C3 organization that has distributed new hats to young cancer patients and the hospitals that treat them across the country.
“It started with a young man who had just had a passion when he saw children with cancer. And he started saving his money and buying hats, started contacting other groups to try to fundraising to do the same,” Williams told Royal Examiner, as he does in the Royal Examiner linked video. “And from there he started a website, and it became a national thing. called Heavenly Hats.” Williams added that as his efforts grew, the young man initially asked not for money to help buy the hats, but to pay for postage to send them to across the country to children and medical centers treating children with cancer.
“And that turned into not only people sending for that, but also people raising large sums of money so he could buy more hats. And it became this organization really cool where he was able to provide thousands and thousands of hats,” Williams said, somewhat understating the numbers. According to the Heavenly Hats Foundation website, the number of new hats distributed to young patients with from cancer and suffering from hair loss has grown to more than 4.5 million new hats.
“It is our hope and prayer that one day a cure for cancer and the many other diseases that plague our family and friends will be found, and eventually, no one will need a Heavenly Hatâ¢, but until “There, we’ll keep sending those special hats (and those smiles) to our Hat Heroes. Thank you to all of our donors without you, we wouldn’t be able to continue our mission,” says the Heavenly Hats Foundation website. .
Watch the student body rally from E. Wilson Morrison for their peers with cancer in this exclusive Royal Examiner video (by Mark Williams) and photos below – and ENOUGH the enthusiastic and creative, Heavenly Hats Parade it was, with EWM Director Lisa Rudacille, staff and even some media joining in the spirit of the ‘event.