University of Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletics hosted the fifth annual HopeDay Festival, today on the Bierman Track. Over 1,400 were in today's attendance to help members of the HopeKids organization.
All 25 sports were represented, which included sport clinics and other activities, including a dunk tank, mini golf, kickball and playing catch with the football team at TCF Bank Stadium. Along with student-athletes participating in events, pony rides, a petting zoo, a rock-climbing wall and face painters were just some of the other activities that will also be available for HopeKids families.
Sophomore women's gymnast Alex Feeken and senior men's swimmer Nathan Jobe were co-chairs of the event under the guidance of the Life Skills Office and Anissa Lightner.
HopeKids is an organization which gives hope to children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses and their families, via a program of ongoing, highly anticipated events with the message that hope is a powerful medicine. Founded in September 2001 by Robert R. Cottrell in Phoenix, Ariz., it has recently branched out to chapters in Minneapolis/St. Paul in November of 2006 and Salt Lake City, Utah in September of 2008. The Minneapolis/St. Paul chapter serves in excess of 700 HopeKids and their families. >A large percentage of the children in the program have already had their one large wish from one of the various wish granting organizations, but their battle continues. A large percentage of HopeKids have cancer, however, the program also serves children with any life-threatening illnesses such as kidney disease, heart disease, sickle cell, mitochondrial and cystic fibrosis. HopeKids is for children between the ages of 0 to 18. For more information visit www.hopekids.org.