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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Shrine On Springfield and Tabs For Taylor

Shrine On Springfield and Tabs For Taylor
Helping Shriners Hospitals continue helping kids defy the odds!
Taylor Marie was born like most other babies. A full term, healthy little girl weighing in at 7lbs 7 oz. The only thing that made her birth out of the ordinary, Taylor was born with one hand. Around 6 weeks gestation, Taylor developed a blood clot which prohibited her arm from growing completely. Her left arm ends just below her elbow. Since her birth, she has been a patient of Shriners Hospitals for Children, where she receives prosthetics and participates in upper extremity clinics.
Shriners Hospitals for Children® is a health care system of 22 hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing specialty pediatric care, innovative research and outstanding teaching programs. Children up to age 18 with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for admission and receive all care in a family-centered environment with no financial obligation to the patient or their families. Shriners Hospitals relies on the generosity of donors to deliver this mission every day.
Taylor received her first arm prosthesis at 3 months of age and instantly fell in love. She has always been able to do everything she wants or needs with just her available hand, but as most of us know some tasks are easier with two. Taylor has always been a devout wearer and user of her prosthetics and will show any who see her that they are a useful tool and not an "unnecessary cosmetic" as some believe.
In the Spring of 2009, with the economy's rapid decline, the Shriners Hospital system, was faced with the grave possibility of having to close down their Springfield MA facility, where Taylor receives her care, as well as 5 of their other hospitals. Taylor's mother, Nina Honeycutt, along with some of her close friends, set out on a mission to aid in preventing the Springfield facility's shutdown and held a walkathon with the hope of gaining support and awareness to benefit the Springfield Shriners Hospital .
Leading up to that first walkathon, the friends realized financial uncertainty was preventing some would be supporters from being able to make monetary donations. The group also learned that Shriners and the Ladies of the Shrine, two of the main groups who support the hospitals, collect aluminum can tabs which benefit the hospitals and patients. The tabs are recycled as scrap and the money made in the process is then used to purchase items needed by the hospitals and patients ranging from books and games to IV pumps and X-ray machines. Tabs money can also be used for personalized adaptive equipment, or added into the transportation fund which assists families with the financial challenges they sometimes face in getting their child to the hospital. This fund also helps families with lodging so they may be nearby while their child is in the hospitals care, as well as covering med flights when a child's life hangs in the balance. These flights can cost thousands of dollars, a bill which a patient will never see or pay. With the assistance of the Old #4 Fire & Hose Ladies Auxiliary of Charlestown NH, Tabs For Taylor was born and people began collecting tabs and donated them to help the Shriners Hospitals as well.
The walkathon came to a successful end and the Tabs For Taylor collection continued. During this time, the patients, families and communities US wide, spoke out and showed just how much they needed, loved and appreciated the Shriners Hospitals network and at the Imperial Session in July, the Shriners decided none of the slated 6 would close. But the Honeycutt family's mission did not end there. They continue to host the Shrine On Springfield walkathon each June in Springfield VT and Tabs for Taylor goes year round.
The 4th walkathon, held on June 9,2012, brought several walkers from outside the Connecticut River Valley. Crews arrived from VT's Northeast Kingdom and Alton Bay, NH as well as one very proud Great Grammy from Lakeland Florida, along with several members of Sinai Joe's Clown Unit, and "un-clowned" Mt Sinai Shriners as well as their Potentate Shawn and Lady Jaqi Kincaid. This year's walk total was a bit lower than usual but the group still raised $1,700 which has brought their total to $7,747 in 3 years. And as the Ladies of the Shrine say, "no amount is too small when the cause is so great!" Tabs For Taylor has also grown substantially. Deb Burns brought case after case full of tabs, around 30 gallons worth, from family members, coworkers and patients of Valley Regional Hospital, Cathy Hartman and Greg Precourt arrived with several bags filled as well from friends and staff at Maplewood Nursing Home and our little blue mohawk loving friend Cole (Cole's Cause) arrived just in time with a 6 gallon barrel full from his family in GA to this years walk. Taylor is currently holding onto around 200 gallons of tabs which come from not only NH and VT but as far away as Florida and Texas over the last 4 months! Taylor will drop them off at the Springfield Shriners Hospital on July 2 and bring the total of tabs collected and turned in to approximately 3,078,000 tabs.
A huge thank you goes out to everyone everywhere who supports Shriners Hospitals for Children, to all of our walkers, donors, "Tabbies", everyone who helps spread the word.. A special thank you goes out to Sinai Joe's Clown Unit, Mt Sinai Shriners and Ill. Shawn and Lady Jaqi Kincaid, and to all Shriners and Ladies, to our wonderful sponsors: Ray St. Sauveur & Linda Schettino, Candy & David Desrochers, Ron & Sue Precourt and Roland & Sue Irish, Thanks also to Greg Precourt for being our volun-told chef ;) and lastly to our suppliers Doolittle's PrintServ and the Ink Factory. Thank you all again for your continued support. We hope to see you all again next June!