My goal as community journalist is not only to share people’s stories, but to make a difference in the community. I was head over heels last week when I got an email from Paula Wilburn, executive director/ president of the Fun Coast Down Syndrome Association saying that because of the article I wrote and pictures I took at the association’s first balance bike camp, she was contacted by a local doctor who wanted to donate to the second camp scheduled for the fall.
Originally, Dr. Don Marini, of Palm Coast Cardiovascular Institute, said that he would donate $1,200, which would cover about six riders. Wilburn was thrilled!
“Your coverage is making a huge difference for the FCDSA, thank you with all of my heart,” Wilbrun wrote in the email.
But upon hearing that there would actually be 12 riders at the camp, Marini quickly upped his donation to $2,400 to cover the entire second camp.
“For me, this is ginormous,” Wilburn said while standing outside Marini’s office. “I’m so overwhelmed, this blew my socks off.”
For Marini, he said the decision to donate was easy.
“I saw your paper and I thought it was well done,” he said. “My staff and I talked about it and we just wanted to make sure these kids don’t get left out. We’re just happy that we have the ability to donate. These kids need support, so, we do what we can do.”
Wilbrun said that the association has been struggling since 2002 to make a difference in the community and getting funds is one of the hardest parts.
“It’s just so awesome for somebody to do this for us,” she told Marini. “It doesn’t happen often.”
I am so proud to be part of this story and so excited that what I cover really is making a difference in the community.