Thanks to an old-fashioned fundraiser, kids can twirl on.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH) hosted its annual Family Funday Social Fundraiser last month in an effort to raise money for the OLPH Twirlers, which is open to children ages three to 17 years-old from all over the city.
“The objective is to raise funds for the OLPH Twirlers because we’re a self-supporting group,” said Cecilia Fedyn, the organization’s director. “We’ve been doing this for the past 40 years in the community. These raffles help carry us through the whole year.”
Thanks to the money raised during the yearly event, the Twirlers are able to buy equipment and uniforms for participants.
Fedyn stressed that the Twirlers programs allows kids to contribute to the neighborhood. “These girls are always volunteering in the community. We go to events like the Sunset Park Festival or the Third Avenue Festival. They do the opening in Coney Island. We really form leaders at a young age,” she said. “These children don’t have a lot here so we try to help them out and we offer baton lessons, ballet and gymnastics. It’s the best-kept secret in Brooklyn. “
Overall, said Fedyn, the program allows the kids to grow. “It’s really important. We keep the children really involved so they’re off the street. Some of the girls that I teach win scholarships,” she said. “Even if they don’t do that, it prepares them for the future and allows them to network. They learn to be good sports.”
With lots of prizes up for grabs, as raffle numbers were called out, families who had brought their own food mingled in the school gymnasium. Members of the OLPH Twirlers were on hand to volunteer during the event and hand out prizes.
Parents also helped out and were happy to see their kids thriving in the program. “They communicate with each other, play with each other,” said Nydia Mehl. “The day has been very helpful. It allows us to raise funds for the girls. We are from low income group and some can’t provide kids for this program so this helps them do that.”
Nydia’s daughter Tabitha has been an OLPH Twirler for 13 years and has enjoyed her time. “It’s so much fun,” she confided. “We do a lot of gymnastics. I love the competition and all the things we learn here. I love the friends I’ve made here.”