Flipping for Families event to support Alana Rose Foundation

Date Published: 
Nov. 17, 2017

Coastal Point • Submitted: The Alana Rose Foundation will host the Flipping for Families event at Mid-Coast Gymnastics on Sunday, Nov. 19, from 1 to 4 p.m.Coastal Point • Submitted: The Alana Rose Foundation will host the Flipping for Families event at Mid-Coast Gymnastics on Sunday, Nov. 19, from 1 to 4 p.m.For the second year in a row, the Alana Rose Foundation is teaming up with Mid-Coast Gymnastics to give kids the chance to have a fun afternoon while supporting other families.

The Alana Rose Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was borne out of the tragedy endured by Kyle Prettyman and Alexa Shoultes, who lost their daughter Alana Rose to a neurodegenerative disease at 15 months old, in December 2015.

According to its website, “The Alana Rose Foundation works to provide financial assistance to help with travel, housing and/or living expenses for qualified families, making children happier and healthier by keeping their family together.”

The Flipping for Families event will be held on Sunday, Nov. 19, from 1 to 4 p.m. The cost of admission is $10 per child, with children younger than 4 able to attend free of charge. Parents and caregivers may attend the event at no charge. There is no pre-purchase required; families may buy tickets at the door the day of the event.

“I have been a gymnastics coach for 10 years at Mid-Coast Gymnastics,” said Alexa Shoultes, founder and vice-president of the Alana Rose Foundation. “I see first-hand the enjoyment these kids get out of jumping on the trampoline, climbing the rock wall, jumping into the pit, swinging on the rings, and so on.

“Open gyms are a big hit at the gym, so I thought to do one to benefit our foundation! The owner, Kim Wickham, and the parents, are very supportive and made for a great turn out last year, and we expect more children this year!”

At the events, participating children will be able to twist, turn, tumble and balance while families watch from the sidelines. Kids will be able to zipline, jump in the facility’s foam pit, and enjoy a bounce house, trampolines, springboards and spring-floors.

Shoultes said the event fit with the foundation’s mission due to the similarities between the demands of gymnastics and the struggles of terminal illness.

“Children who are terminally ill, and their families, have to balance the demands of life and reality, get through the twists and turns of the illness, and feel as if their worlds have been turned upside down. Gymnastics also teaches the physical demands of balancing on the beam, flipping upside-down, and twisting and turning all around the gym.”

New this year is a large bounce house, provided by Grand Rental Station, and carnival games where children can win prizes, thanks to the generosity of Kennedy family of Gumboro. There will also be silent-auction baskets designed to appeal to both adults and kids.

“We have massage and spa services donated by the staff at Zen Spa, hair services donated by the staff at Designer’s Edge in Salisbury, Md., tuition toward Mid-Coast Gymnastics, clothing and more!”

Along with auction items donated, Shoultes said barbecue has been donated for the event by Bethany Blues, with sides provided by Hocker’s.

“Our community has been a great help! This year, we have gotten a lot of support from the businesses,” she said.

Shoultes called attention to support from Atlantic Auto Body, 5 Star Plumbing Heating and Cooling, Mispillion River Brewing, Deep Eddy Vodka, Off the Hook Restaurant Group, Dixon Golf, Mango’s, MGT & Co., Logo Motive, Custom Fit 360, Jeff Baxter Mortgage Team, Taste Events, Rar, Sysco, Reliant Fish Company, East Coast Contracting, Trinity Foundation, Rooster’s Nest, Trick Trucks & Cars, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Mid-Coast Gymnastics, Hook Productions, Standard Distributing Co. Inc. and Sea Level.

Last year, the event drew around 80 children and their families. This year, Shoultes said she hopes to double that number and raise around $4,000.

The monies raised from the event will go directly to helping families who are going through difficult times, akin to what Shoultes and Prettyman experienced.

“Our foundation works endlessly with the social workers at our local children’s hospital, A.I DuPont. Our financial assistance allows these families to focus more on their child than the financial responsibilities of paying their rent/electric for the month.

“The community helped us spend the rest of Alana’s seven months with her, without worrying about the financial obligations of our bills. We know we can’t relieve all their financial strain, but we know the blessing of financial support while facing the uncertainty of tomorrow, and that’s why we help!”

Even if a family cannot attend the event, Shoultes said there are plenty of ways to support the foundation’s mission.

“We are always looking for new donors, new supporters, new businesses to support us, and new board members to increase our impact, grants and more. Our families need a large amount of assistance. Our donations are rarely under $200 and can reach up to $1,000. We are still a newer foundation, being only two years in, and need awareness and more support!”

Shoultes said creating and running the foundation has been emotional for her but that she knows the good they are bringing to families in need.

“It’s hard to put in words. It’s emotional for us, knowing that parents face similar situations as us. We take on the pain of some of these families, knowing what’s to come for them. But then we think of that first check we got that covered our rent for the month — I broke out in tears. In the hardest time of our life, we received a breath above water.

“I know that is what we are providing these families, in the midst of them feeling like they are drowning. For that, we are grateful to have the ability to help. And any person supporting our mission is making that possible, as 100 percent of our profits goes toward giving those families more time with their children.”

Shoultes said the foundation’s family count is rising, and she hopes the community will continue to support their efforts, just as they supported her family in its time of need.

“With over $30,000 given to 112 families in two years, we know that Alana’s life and legacy go beyond what’s to meet the eye. May her life never be forgotten.”

For more information on the Alana Rose Foundation, or sponsorship or volunteer opportunities, visit www.thealanarosefoundation.org or email info@thealanarosefoundation.org. Mid-Coast Gymnastics is located at 17 Duke Street in Selbyville.