Hudson Valley Parent

HVP - April 2014

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14 Hudson Valley Parent n April 2014 Go jump in a mud puddle! How to throw your own 'mess fest' party By GLORIA DARMANIN D on't jump in that pud- dle!" usually comes out of a parent's mouth at the exact moment that our children are already ankle deep. We cringe at the messes left behind from our little ones. The chocolate candy smeared across their hands as they touch our shirts or the finger paints that man- aged to decorate our walls. The way I looked at these every day nuisances, changed forever the night that I read the story of "Super Ty." In 2012, Ty Campbell passed away from cancer at 5 years old. The thing he spoke about the most while living in the hospital was jumping in muddy puddles. A simple thing that we take for granted was another child's dream. His parents were committed to finding ways to fund more research towards safer and more effective treatments of pediatric cancer. This was how "The Muddy Puddles Project" came to be. It's a reminder to all parents to let chil- dren be just that — children — and to not sweat the small stuff, all while also raising money for the Ty Louis Campbell foundation. After staying up half the night reading his website, I knew that that I needed to do something immediately. I began working on my own "mess fest" in honor of Ty and to make a donation to the TLC foundation. You don't need a reason to have one, but wouldn't a "mess fest" be a great alternative for a birthday party? Pick a date and location This can be held at a school, com- munity center, or your own back- yard! After reminding my husband that grass grows back and what the fundraiser was for, he agreed to use our home to host. Gloria Darmanin held her own "mess fest" party last summer. "After reminding my husband that grass grows back and what the fundraiser was for, he agreed to use our home to host," says Darmanin. Ty Louis Campbell, who succumbed to cancer in 2012 at the age of 5. He loved to jump in puddles. After Ty passed away, instead of gifts of flowers, his family launched The Mud- dy Puddles Project, asking his supporters to celebrate the joys of childhood in his honor. "

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