Tag Archives: JACK Foundation

Blood drives will honor Jack Heiligman

15 Dec

posterTwo blood drives coming up next week in our area are being held in memory of 3-year old Jack Heiligman.

Jack, you may remember, lost his life in a tragic accident in 2016.  Since that awful day, Jack’s parents Anne and AJ have worked hard to keep their son’s happy spirit alive by spreading laughter, happiness and love to other families, and encouraging others to pay it forward.

They work through the JACK Foundation, an organization they created, dedicated to giving back to the community through acts of kindness. The foundation also raises money to build dinosaur-themed playgrounds. Their first playground, Jack’s Place, opened at Rothfuss Park in Penfield last August 2017.

This holiday season, one of the ways the JACK Foundation is giving back to the community and promoting acts of kindness is by hosting two blood drives in Jack’s memory. These will be held on Thursday, December 21 at Kent Park Arboretum in Webster and Friday, December 22 at the Penfield Community Center.

“The JACK Foundation has really helped keep Jack’s memory alive for our family and friends,” Anne said. “We miss our Jack every moment of every day, but being a part of caring and kind acts in Jack’s name has helped bring us peace and comfort. We hope we are making our Angel Jack proud.”

The two drives are especially significant at this time of year, near the holidays, when blood and platelet donations often decline due to everyone’s busy schedules. Here are the details:

Thursday, December 21, 2-7 p.m.
Kent Park Arboretum
1700 Schlegel Rd., Webster

Friday, December 22, 2-7 p.m.
Penfield Community Center
1985 Baird Rd., Penfield

As a thank you for showing your support for these special blood drives, all presenting donors will receive a Red Cross long-sleeved t-shirt, while supplies last.

Appointments are appreciated and will help you get in and out faster, but walk-ins are also welcome. To make an appointment, log onto redcrossblood.org or download the blood donor app. Please use sponsor code JACKFOUNDATIONWEBSTERPENFIELD.

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Calling all runners (and walkers)

9 Sep
Runners brick

A trio of Barry’s Runners visits the group’s brick at Jack’s Place on the day of the playground’s grand opening.

I have blogged and column-ed several times in the past about Barry’s Runners. We are a bunch of men, women, children — and occasionally dogs — who gather every Tuesday evening at Barry’s Old School Irish Pub in Webster to go for a walk or run. After completing a pre-mapped two, three or four-mile route, we reconvene at the pub for a pint, pretzels and good conversation.

We’ve met every week now for almost a year and a half, running (and walking) through snow, cold, sleet and heat, and always at Barry’s. This week, however, we’re changing things up a bit and going on our first ever road trip.

This Tuesday evening September 12 at 6:30 p.m., Barry’s Runners will be meeting at the brand new Jack’s Place playground in Penfield’s Rothfuss Park on Five Mile Line Road.

Jack’s Place, which officially opened only a few weeks ago, is a blue, dinosaur-themed playground built by the Jack Foundation, to honor the memory of 3-year old Jack Heiligman, who lost his life tragically last October. The foundation’s primary focus is to keep Jack’s happy spirit alive by encouraging others to spread random acts of kindness.

Barry’s Runners have taken that challenge to heart. Twice the group has collected gift cards from retailers all over the area and delivered them randomly — and often anonymously — to village people and houses.  (Read the column I wrote about the first of those efforts here.)

Most recently, the group purchased an engraved brick for Jack’s Place, one of many which were installed along the playground’s entrance walkway.

Tuesday’s plan is simple: meet at Jack’s Place (Rothfuss Park, 1648 Five Mile Line Road) at 6:30 p.m. Running/walking routes will be determined ahead of time so people can choose whichever length they’d like. There’s a mile-mile long path around the perimeter of the park, so that’s probably what I’ll be doing. After the run, we can play on the playground, and/or re-convene at Barry’s for some pints and friendship.

We’ll also be starting a new collection of gift cards on Tuesday (any amount, any place) that we can pass out on a future run.

We would love to see some new faces on Tuesday evening. There will be plenty of company for anyone who wants to do a short run, a long run, or just walk.

New friends await, so please join us.

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Dinosaurs, laughter and play keep a boy’s memory alive

28 Aug

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The memory of young Jack James Heiligman is alive and well, embodied in the smiles and laughter of children at our area’s newest playground, Jack’s Place.

Jack’s Place is a a blue, dinosaur-themed playground at Penfield’s Rothfuss Park on Five Mile Line Road. It was built by a terrific organization called the Jack Foundation, in honor of 3-year old Jack Heiligman, who lost his life tragically last October.

Hundreds of people attended the official opening ceremonies Sunday afternoon, where Jack’s mother Anne spoke emotionally about her son and how the playground has helped fulfill the dream she and her husband AJ had to keep Jack’s memory alive.

She said,

We knew we could never forget Jack, but we didn’t want anyone to forget him. With that in  mind, we started the Jack Foundation the weeks after he passed and were overwhelmed by the generosity of spirit and resources. We encouraged acts of caring and kindness in Jack’s memory and the caring people jumped in and helped. 

People would ask them how they were able to continue after such a devastating loss, to which she responded with a quote from Fred Rogers:

When disaster strikes, look for the helpers. You will always find caring people in this world who are ready to jump in to help when things go wrong. 

When the idea came to them to build a playground to honor their son, the support doubled-down. Friends, neighbors, family members and local businesses donated their time, effort and services to help make it a reality. Individuals, local companies, whole families, even children, all started raising money for the project, collecting more than $175,000 in just ten months.

The result of that outpouring of love and effort is a beautiful new play facility which incorporates all of the things that Jack loved most: dinosaurs, climbing and sliding, and the color blue. There’s even a Little Free Library, because Jack also loved books.

There are slides, of course — six of them by my count; spinny, merry-go-round thing that’s quite a bit updated from my day; a bouncy thing; a sand box where kids can “dig” for dinosaur bones; and lots and lots of places where kids can climb and crawl. There are also eight benches, where parents and grandparents can relax.

As I watched countless kids (young and old; I saw a few adults taking to the slides as well) clambering around the playscape, I could imagine Jack playing, smiling and laughing right along with them. I know that Anne and AJ imagined that as well, and I hope the thought gave them some comfort.

Here are some photos from the opening:

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Great weekend for two great events

25 Aug

ribbon cutting

Hey all my Webster and Webfield peeps, there are two important events this weekend that you don’t want to miss, if you can make the time, especially if you have children with challenges … or children at all.

The first is the grand opening of Challenger Miracle Field, which has been built in Ridge Park, just behind the Town Hall.

Webster is honored to have been chosen to be the home for this wonderful facility, which is basically a smaller version of a Little League field, where differently-challenged athletes from around the city will have a chance to hit a home run, and play other sports, just like everyone else.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for Saturday August 26 at 11 a.m., followed by an exhibition game with local celebrities and Challenger athletes. Lunch will be provided by Wegmans.

Read more about Miracle Field in this blog I wrote a few weeks ago. Then see you Saturday!

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Wait! There’s more!

On Sunday August 27, another terrific facility dedicated to helping children have fun will have its grand opening ceremonies.

It’s called Jack’s Place, a blue, dinosaur-themed playground at Penfield’s Rothfuss Park on Five Mile Line Road. It’s been built by a the Jack Foundation, in honor of 3-year old Jack Heiligman, who lost his life tragically last October. (You can read more about Jack here.)

Jack’s parents, Anne and AJ, have worked hard to keep their son’s happy spirit alive by spreading laughter, happiness and love to other families. One of the ways they’re doing that is by building these playgrounds.

Since Jack loved dinosaurs, the new playground is filled with dinosaur-themed climbing and crawling apparatus, in addition to the swings and slides and towers. Its color is predominantly blue, which was Jack’s favorite color.

Grand opening ceremonies will be held Sunday August 27, from noon to 3 pm at Rothfuss Park, 1648 Five Mile Line Road in Penfield. There’ll be music and food, and lots of time to explore the new playground.

I’ll be at both events, so please say hi if you see me and my camera!

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Jack’s Place playground set to open

18 Aug

grand opening

The east-side’s newest playground, Jack’s Place, has been completed and will be officially welcomed to the community at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 27.

Jack’s Place is a a blue, dinosaur-themed playground at Penfield’s Rothfuss Park on Five Mile Line Road. It’s been built by a terrific organization called the Jack Foundation, in honor of 3-year old Jack Heiligman, who lost his life tragically last October. (You can read more about Jack here.)

Construction began only several weeks ago and continued at a record pace, assuring that the new playground would be completed with plenty of time for kids to enjoy it this summer.

The playground is a testament to the strength of Jack’s parents, Anne and AJ, and their commitment to keeping their son’s happy spirit alive by spreading laughter, happiness and love to other families.

Jack loved dinosaurs, so the new playground is filled with dinosaur-themed climbing and crawling apparatus, in addition to the swings and slides and towers. Its color is predominantly blue, which was Jack’s favorite color.

dinosaur

Image of a dinosaur climb-y thing from the Jack Foundation Facebook page.

Grand opening ceremonies will be held Sunday August 27, from noon to 3 pm at Rothfuss Park, 1648 Five Mile Line Road in Penfield. There’ll be music and food, and lots of time to explore the new playground.

Read more about the Jack Foundation on their website here and their Facebook page here.

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Jack’s Place playground will soon be a reality

4 Aug

 

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The construction on Jack’s Place has begun!

Jack’s Place is a a blue, dinosaur-themed playground at Penfield’s Rothfuss Park on Five Mile Line Road. It’s being built by a terrific organization called the Jack Foundation, in honor of 3-year old Jack Heiligman, who lost his life tragically last October. (You can read more about Jack here.) His amazingly strong parents have risen from their shock and grief to create a foundation dedicated to carrying Jack’s happy spirit forward, spreading happiness, laughter and love to other families, as Jack did for his.

The Jack Foundation hopes that the playground will be done just a bit later this summer, so watch for news about grand opening ceremonies. But in the meantime, stop by and check it out. Rothfuss Park is at 1648 Five Mile Line Road, just south of Embury.

(To help raise money for the construction, the foundation sold 116 engraved bricks which will be installed on the walk leading to the playground. Make sure to look for the one sponsored by Barry’s Runners.)

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Help the Jack Foundation pave the way to play

2 Jul

pave the path

Hopefully by now you have heard of the Jack Foundation.

This fabulous organization was created in honor of 3-year old Jack Heiligman, who lost his life tragically last October. (You can read more about Jack here.) His amazingly strong parents have risen from their shock and grief to create a foundation dedicated to carrying Jack’s happy spirit forward, spreading happiness, laughter and love to other families, as Jack did for his.

To that end, the Jack Foundation is building a blue, dinosaur-themed playground called “Jack’s Place,” at Penfield’s Rothfuss Park on Five Mile Line Road. (Jack loved dinosaurs.) To help fund the construction, they’re raising money through the sale of engraved bricks, which will be placed in the path leading to the playground.

Individuals and groups are encouraged to help celebrate Jack’s spirit and keep the love flowing by purchasing a brick.

Bricks are being sold in two sizes:

  • 4 x 8″, which can accommodate 3 lines of text, 45 characters each (including spaces), for $100.
  • 8 x 8″, 5 lines of text, 75 characters each (including spaces) for $175.

Bricks will be on sale for a limited time. Order can be placed by visiting the Jack Foundation website, under the “Playground” tab.

Construction is progressing right now and hopes are that the playground will have its grand opening at the end of July or early August.

Upcoming events 

Here are a couple of other ways you can help support the Jack Foundation in the coming weeks.

Breathe Yoga‘s 4th of July Kindness Class will benefit the Jack Foundation.

The class will take place at the Holt Lodge in Webster Park. Holt Lodge is located at the end of Holt Road (right hand side) next to the baseball fields.

Pre-register with $20 donation for a quick check-in or donate at the door. If you are unable to make it to class, you may still make a donation over the phone or in person at our Greece or Webster location.

To register call (585) 248-9070 ext. 2 or ext. 5 or stop in to breathe’s Greece or Webster location.

Donations will also be accepted at the Kindness Class for the Dimitri House in Rochester.

Here’s a list of items they especially need:

  • Non-perishable groceries, e.g., soup, tuna, peanut butter, jelly, canned vegetables, fruits, and meats, beans, tomato products, pasta, rice, Jello, pudding, cereal, fruit juice, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, powdered iced tea, Kool-Aid, and lemonade
  • Toiletries, e.g., toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, foot powder, body lotion, soap, shampoo, razors, lip balm, nail clippers, feminine hygiene products
  • Household products, e.g., paper plates, plastic flatware, napkins, paper towels, toilet tissue, laundry detergent
  • Office supplies, e.g., copy paper, pens, pencils, folders, ink cartridges, postage stamps, envelopes
  • Clothing, e.g., new underwear and socks and new or gently used t-shirts, long underwear, gloves, hats, scarves
  • Gift cards to grocery stores, office supply stores, or general use cards

This year’s Motorfest 2017, scheduled for Sunday July 9 at the Damascus Center, 979 Bay Road will also benefit the Jack Foundation.

In addition to all the cool cars to check out, CARtoon Magazine artist Greg Panneitz will be appearing. You can have him do an original piece of artwork of your spiffy ride, or bid in the auction to win a Panneits original.

The show runs from 10 am to 4 pm. There’s a $15 car entry fee but admission for spectators is free. For more information log onto http://www.zccr.net/

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Tuesday Webster Mailbag

28 Mar

There are a couple of great community events coming up I want to let you know about.

This Friday March 31, Webster Boy Scout Troop 942 will be holding a Fish Fry Dinner Fundraiser at the American Legion Post 492 on Ridge Road, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., or until the dinners run out (and that usually happens).

Cost is $12 and the dinner includes a choice of broiled or beer battered-fried fish with a side of roasted potatoes and coleslaw. Dinners may be ordered for dine in or take out.

There’s also great entertainment at these dinners! Local folk/pop duo Doctor’s Orders will be playing from 5:30 to 7. They make a great dinner even better.

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Doctor’s Orders, starring Webster residents Dave and Patty Wyble. 

Webster Thomas presents Aida next weekend

 

Don’t forget about next weekend’s production of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, presented by the Webster Thomas Players.

Here’s the synopsis:

At the Nile’s edge, the enslaved Nubian princess, Aida becomes romantically entangled shirt expandedwith the Egyptian captain, Radames, who is betrothed to the Pharaoh’s daughter, Amneris. As their forbidden love grows deeper, Aida is forced to find balance between her heart’s yearning for Radames, and her responsibility to lead her people.

Based on the opera by Giuseppe Verdi, Elton John and Time Rice’s Aida is a timeless love story, featuring an award-winning pop/rock score from the seasoned pop duo who brought musical life to Disney’s The Lion King. Rousing rock numbers and heart-wrenching ballads bring the ill-fated lovers into a new era.

The show will be presented in four performances, at 7:30 p.m. April 6, 7 and 8, and a 2 p.m. matinee on April 8.

Tickets are $12, available at Hegedorn’s Market, 964 Ridge Road and online at websterthomasplayers.com.

JACK Foundation holds fundraiser 

The JACK Foundation will host a Spring Vendor Blender fundraiser on Saturday April 29 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Webster Parks and Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Drive.

The craft and direct vendor sale will benefit the JACK Foundation’s efforts to build dinosaur-themed playgrounds in memory of 3-year old Jack Heiligman, who lost his life in a tragic accident last October.

The event will include raffle items, children’s entertainment (face painting, balloon animals and more) and more than 25 vendors selling a variety of different items. Some of the vendors include:

Posh, Tupperware, Norwex, Usbourne books,Touchstone Jewelry, Rolden Fields, Gold Canyon, Lularoe, Kannaway, Tastefully Simple, Pampered Chef, The Best You Spa, It Works, Young Living, Thirty One, Yonique, Lip Sense, Mary Kay, Silpada, L’Brie, Scentsy, and a variety of different crafters.

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