Mar 17, 2009 Erin Smith Uncategorized
Recognition is growing for Maureen’s Hope Foundation.
The local not-for-profit foundation was selected as one of three charities to benefit from the Rockville Centre St. Patrick’s Parade held in Long Island.
“My roots are in Long Island, so a family member had submitted Maureen’s Hope to be considered during the selection process as a possible beneficiary,” said Baldwinsville resident Susan Bertrand, founder of Maureens Hope Foundation.
Last August, Bertrand was invited to share the focus and mission of Maureen’s Hope with the parade board.
“I think they were very impressed with what the foundation does,” Bertrand said. “We received a call in September that we were chosen.”
While relatively young in tradition (the first parade was held in 1997), the Rockville Centre Parade has become one of the best-attended and supported parades outside of New York City. It shares its success annually with three charities, one based in Long Island, one outside of Long Island and one with a focus on Irish heritage and culture. Known as “The Parade that Cares and Shares,” the event has distributed $485,000 to 36 charities since its inception. Last year alone, the parade close to $100,000 to be split equally between three charities.
“The parade’s board of directors takes great care and exercises tremendous due diligence in selecting our three charities every year,” said Ann Marie Myatt, the Rockville Centre Parade committee president. “This year, we are very proud of the high quality of the three charities we will be supporting.”
Bertrand said she hoped to have 200 supporters at this year’s parade, which will be held Saturday March 21.
“Funds received from events like the Rockville Centre St. Patrick’s Day parade help us to continue to fulfill our mission,” she said.
About Maureen’s Hope
Bertrand founded Maureen’s Hope after her sister Maureen passed away from cancer.
“When my sister was battling cancer, it was all those little acts of kindness and support from others that truly made the difference,” Bertrand said. “When she passed away in 2003 at the young age of 31, I couldn’t take what I had learned from that experience and just tuck it away in a drawer. I started the foundation with a heartfelt passion and through the past five years, we have helped hundreds
Maureen’s Hope aims to offer support and assistance to people facing the challenges of a cancer diagnosis or life altering disease. Assistance includes providing meals from Liehs & Steigerwalds during treatment times, cleaning services for patients’ homes and personalized baskets of hope and inspiration. The foundation will also provide Easter baskets to children at University Hospital again this spring.
“Our focus is today and how we can help make your journey during an illness a little easier,” Bertrand said.
Inspiring the community
Bertrand recently opened a co-op at Cottage Designs in Baldwinsville, which among other items features pieces found in her baskets of hope. Proceeds from all sales go directly to the foundation. Featured items include inspirational jewelry, “Power of Hope” bracelets (wooden bracelets made by Maureen’s Hope youth club) and angel designs.
“We’re all about the angels,” Susan said. “Everything is inspirational.”
In addition to jewelry, robes and angels, the store also features paintings by Anne Horan, Susan and Maureen’s mother.
“To paint and donate is a gift for her,” Bertrand said. “My favorite painting is one she did of an angel reaching out to a dove. It’s very meaningful and a beautiful symbol of hope.”
The store, located at 25 Syracuse St. in the village, is open Tuesday through Saturday. Most items are $20 or less.
“We also have a selection of our bracelets available at Shear Forte salon on Oswego Road in Liverpool,” Bertrand said.
Maureen’s Hope is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit. If you would like more information on Maureen’s Hope Foundation or would like to make a donation, visit their Web site at maureenshope.org. For more information about The Rockville Centre St. Patrick’s Parade, visit rvcstpatrick.com.
Featured items at Maureen’s Hope co-op
Hope bracelet: $5.95
Card attached: “This power of hope bracelet is a reminder that with hope all things are possible. Red is the color of love; Blue is the color of strength; Green is the color of healing. The white bead holds your wishes and your dreams . . . may they all come true!”
Card attached: “While my sister Maureen was battling cancer, she wore a fun and inspirational bracelet from Chicos throughout her journey. When she was wearing a less than flattering hospital gown, her bracelet became a symbol of ‘normalcy’ and represented the fun spirited person she was. May you get the same joy from your bracelet and let it bring out your live, love, laugh attitude!”