By TAYLOR HARTZ
Nine-year-old Gavin Haines, Southington, represented the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in a ceremony at Fenway Park last month.
Cumberland Farms hosted the private event at Fenway Park’s Wheels Up Clubhouse on July 30, to kick-off the fourth annual Cups for Kids campaign.
The month-long fundraiser is held each year to benefit the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) and other pediatric programs in the northeast.
Throughout the month of August, the campaign donates 5 cents from every beverage purchased at a participating Cumberland Farms directly to CCMC or a local children’s hospital.
“We created this initiative as a way for our communities to come together in support of the exceptional work that our hospital partners do to give our children the ability to lead healthy lives,” said Ari Haseotes, CEO of Cumberland Farms, in a statement last week.
In 2014, the campaign raised more than $100,000 for pediatric care, and Haseotes said it was the company’s goal to exceed that number this month.
“The fundraiser benefits every child at Connecticut Children’s,” said Gavin’s mother, Stacey Haines.
“They do such amazing things with the money that comes in, buying equipment that they didn’t have and upgrading equipment that helps every single child and parent that walks through those doors,” she said.
Gavin, 9, has suffered from seizures since infancy, and was recently diagnosed with Cortical Dysplasia, a condition where the top layer of the brain does not form properly, and Draver Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy.
The Haines family joined representatives from Cumberland Farms and CCMC in a private ceremony at Fenway with Wally the Green Monster mascot and Cumberland Farms’ Chill Zone mascot, to begin their 2015 fundraising season.
The Southington family was treated to a tour of the park and were given tickets to the Red Sox vs. Chicago White Sox game that evening.
Gavin, a Red Sox fan, had always dreamed of seeing the Sox play at Fenway.
“With his medical concerns we’ve never felt comfortable going,” said Haines, who was thrilled that her son had the chance to watch his favorite team play, “going up there with a hospital made it so much more comfortable and he had the best day.”
Gavin has been a patient at CCMC since he was six months old, regularly seeing
pulmonary, cardiac, and neurology specialists at the hospital and being treated on an emergency basis for his frequent seizures.
“What Cumberland Farms is doing is fantastic, and has already made a difference for Gavin by allowing him to attend that game,” said Haines, “and the money coming in really does make a difference for every child in Connecticut.”