How often do you have the opportunity to make life a little better for sick kids by strolling through a beautiful village and having a beer or two? That’s the exact proposition an organization called Splashes of Hope will offer next Saturday in Huntington. Inspired by the Rag Week tradition in Ireland and England when college students combine socializing with fundraising, next week’s pub stroll is supported by a number of local pubs and Blue Point Brewery. This will actually be the fifth year for the Splashes of Hope pub stroll. The participating pubs this year are the Nag’s Head, Finley’s of Greene Street, Canterbury Ales, Rookies Sports Club and Mary Carroll’s. Registration is $35 and Blue Point Pints will be $2 at each of the stops along your stroll. All of the proceeds will be used for a mural project within a hospital or healthcare facility. Canterbury Ales will offer a 10% discount and Mary Carroll’s will have live music for all of the beery strollers to enjoy
Heather J. Buggee founded Splashes of Hope in 1996 after a close artist friend of hers spent time inside the drab walls of a hospital before losing his battle with Hodgkin’s disease. Before he passed away, he and Heather discussed the possibility of painting the hospital rooms with beautiful and happy scenes to bring hope and lightness to serious situations unfolding within. After his passing she turned their vision into Splashes of Hope. The non-profit organization is currently located in Coindre Hall in Southdown. Bugee and her colleagues travel the country thanks to the support of Southwest Air, donations from individuals and paint supplied by the Benjamin Moore Paint Company to make children’s hospital rooms something a child can look forward to. Stephanie Condra, Assistant Art Director & Program Coordinator, told us how one little boy in New Mexico couldn’t wait to get back in the examination room to see the amazing underwater mural that they had recently painted. In fact she said, he has asked for that scene to be painted on his own bedroom wall as his wish from the Make a Wish Foundation. It feels really good to impact a child’s life in such a positive way Stephanie told us.
Given that Stephanie paints hospitals as a way to uplift and heal young patients, it isn’t surprising to learn that she is a graduate of NYU with a degree in therapeutic art and alternative healing methods. Stephanie remains active in the education community. She works with about 40 Cold Spring Harbor High School student volunteers and their teacher who have been recruited and organized by CSH student Kelly Anne Sherlock. The group calls itself Splash Club and paints panels that are hung together to create murals on the hospital walls.
Have fun out there next weekend, but know when to say when. Here’s a cautionary video from recent Rag Week festivities in Galway, Ireland.
You can check out the Splashes of Hope website and pre-register here.