Mater Dei Prep Continues Heavenly Hope Fun Day Tradition
On Thursday, May 2, 2018, Mater Dei Prep continued the tradition of hosting Heavenly Hope Fun Day, a student-run service program for children and young adults with special needs. The project started in 2012 by then Mater Dei Prep junior Taralynn Vecchio (MDP ’13) and has been run by Mater Dei Prep students every year since. Heavenly Hope Fun Day gives the participants a break from their regular routine with a whole day of fun games and activities while bonding with fellow Mater Dei Prep students as they give back to the community.
Ms. Vecchio had a love for working with special needs children and found that the Mater Dei Prep community supported and encouraged her mission. After successfully running Heavenly Hope Fun Day for two years, Ms. Vecchio passed down the honored tradition to Seraph students. Over the years Erin Caddock (MDP'14), Maggie Klatt (MDP‘16), Jennifer Quigley (MDP’17), Valerie Zoda (MDP’18) and Heather Dorney (MDP’18) have coordinated and helped the program thrive. This year the event was organized by Morgan Hurst (MDP’19) and Caleigh Kehoe (MDP’19), and was supported with over 40 Seraph student volunteers.
“Heavenly Hope Fun Day was memorable and enjoyable thanks to all for the incredible volunteers. The students danced, played games and created arts and crafts with our Mater Dei Prep volunteers. The impact we had on the students is something I will never forget,” said Morgan Hurst.
Caleigh Kehoe went on to share, “ Seeing the smiles on the students faces when they arrived was magical. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to be involved with this amazing day.”
Mater Dei Prep students organize and run the entire event. This year’s Fun Day took place in Memorial Hall and included commemorative t-shirts, a DJ, snow cone and cotton candy machines, basketball and bowling games, arts and crafts, face painting and temporary tattoos. The day would not be possible without help from local sponsors, including Mater Dei Prep Booster Club, Applebee’s, Joseph T. Buzzanco D.M.D., In-A-Flash Photography, Victor Zando Foundation, Tribal Events, and No Limit Entertainment.
This year’s student participants came from Harbor School in Eatontown. The Mater Dei Prep volunteers valued their time giving back to the community and witnessed first-hand how their actions can bring true happiness to others.
For more information or to sponsor or participate in Heavenly Hope Fun Day 2020, please call 732.671.9100 or contact Margaret Cahill, Mater Dei Prep Community Service Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.