my information

--- Updated June 6, 2008

It's all about the kids -- both the young residents of the Erie Housing Authority and the March of Dimes kids the HACE kids gathered money to help.

On Friday, June 6, at the Central Office of the Erie Housing Authority, the Authority presented a check for $11,545 to the Northwest Pennsylvania March of Dimes. The March of Dimes is dedicated to
improving the health of babies by preventing birth defects and premature birth and to reducing infant mortality.

Young Housing Authority residents who raised money to help save babies were featured at the check presentation press conference.

Hace Kids present Laura King with a check for $11,545. From
left are Brandi Leiphart, Amine Abouabid, Brianna Ford, Cody
Ford, Melissa Kaczenski and King.

In raising $11,545, the Authority smashed its goal of $8,000 and far surpassed last year's total of $5,700. This year’s total is the most the Authority has ever raised, said John E. Horan, executive director. The Authority has been participating in the campaign for 16 years and has raised more than $100,000. Mike Fraley, the Authority’s Resident Initiatives Coordinator, chaired this year’s March of Dimes effort.

The Erie Housing Authority placed among the top five teams in the 2008 Northwest Pennsylvania March of Dimes fundraiser.

Horan said “This year, in particular, I want to thank the children who live in public housing. The YMCA Clubs and the JFK Center went all out to help us reach our total of $11,545.”

Cherie Kinem of the YMCA, who supervises the Authority’s two youth centers, said that 13 Authority children raised, by themselves, $1,100 For the March of Dimes.

The children, aged 10-13, went door-to-door six times in public housing neighborhoods, and in just one night, at Wal-Mart, five children raised $295 in just two hours. “One little boy asked if he could take his contribution envelope to Edison School, and he signed up all his teachers and collected $38,” Kinem said. “When collecting at the John E. Horan Garden Apartments, he asked if he could run home and get some money out of his piggy bank, which he did.”

“There are lots of things we assign the kids to do, or ask them to do, oftentimes encouraged with a snack,” Kinem said. “This time when they went out, they didn’t even ask what they’d get afterwards or can they have an ice cream cone. They were so very excited to do this! They asked after we were done if they could do it again. It really raised their awareness on what the March of Dimes does.”

Horan added that the children – 13 from the YMCA and a large number from the JFK Center -- also joined the March for Babies on April 27 at Presque Isle and walked the full five miles.

One hundred ninety-seven teams participated in this year's campaign, with the average amount raised per team being about $3,000.

"The thing that boggles my mind is these others in the top five are all very, very large employers, much larger than the Erie Housing Authority, and yet the Authority managed to place with them," said Laura King, community director for the Northwest Pennsylvania March of Dimes and coordinator of the March for Babies campaign.

"The Erie Housing Authority is our poster team for other teams to follow," she said.

For more information, contact John Horan at 452-2425.