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South Amboy’s School Spirit and Hunterdon Medical Center’s Big Hearts

February 22, 2010

Our airplane took off at the crack of dawn this morning.

Look it's still dark outside our Continental airplane!

It was still dark outside and it was rainy in Fort Lauderdale but when we landed in New Jersey, it was sunny and not too cold for us! Alison was waiting for us outside Door 4 and Aunt Stephie and Uncle Seth and Christina, State Director of Communications for the March of Dimes were waiting for us at our hotel. Alex was going to visit with our cousins Matthew and Nicole who live in New York and Christina was going to take us to visit many different places in North and Central New Jersey!

We arrived at South Amboy Middle and High School, and there were so many welcome signs all over the place. It was so much fun to find all the signs and read what they said. We went into the Library and the first people I met were Peter and Steven.

Here's another sign we found! I had so much fun reading the great welcome signs with Kelly Witkowski, MOD Community Director.

My new friends Peter Byrne (top youth walker in Middlesex County) and Steven, Student Government Treasurer

Peter told me he’s 15 years old and he was the top youth walker in Middlesex County last year – he raised over $2,000 by himself! Steven is 16 and he is the school Treasurer so he has the fun job of counting all the money the 800 students raise for the March of Dimes – like $18,000 to $20,000 every year. Wow!

Everyone was so friendly. Mr. McCabe the Principal was there, Mr. Ghezzo the Librarian gave me some interesting Scholastic books (and even signed them!) because I said I like to read. Even a Detective came to say hi. Octavia is the school’s Team Captain and she gave me a walk t-shirt (which I put on right away) and a new March of Dimes teddy bear that says “Love” on the tummy. I do love my new bear and named him March of Dimes Purple.

Me and Adelita Bonet, MOD State Director for NJ, and my cool new book.

Me and the Detective

Me and Octavia and our purple walk tees

Then it was time to go to the assembly in the auditorium. All of the students were cheering when we walked in because they were watching a slide show of pictures taken at their March for Babies walk last year. Everyone cheered extra loud when Peter’s picture came up because he’s a top walker. I thought that was so cool and I was so happy I got to meet Peter.

Then my mom gave a speech and when it was my turn, everyone was cheering for me! They said “Go Joshua!” They laughed when I said how much I love school and they said “Aww!” when I said how I try to live life to the fullest because I know I almost didn’t live at all. I think it’s so amazing how all those students care so much about the March of Dimes and saving babies. They have so much school spirit and such big hearts. South Amboy School is just the best and I hope there are many other schools around the country just like South Amboy. When we left I waved goodbye and everyone cheered again. I felt like a rock star. I will not forget that feeling for a long time.

That's me giving my speech at the South Amboy school assembly!

When we got to Hunterdon Medical Center, lots of people were waiting for us in the lobby. I said hi as politely as I could and then I told my mom I needed to go to the bathroom. I guess that was funny because I heard them all laughing as my mom took me down the hall to the bathroom.

Look at all these great people waiting for us when we arrived!

There were so many really nice people at that medical center. It was just renovated and beautiful. Mr. Wise was the head person and he took my hand and showed me around.

Mr. Wise was the nicest tour guide. We're going down the hallway of stars to their baby nursery.

I saw their nursery and met a baby who was two days old and kept on stopping breathing so she needed to stay in their special nursery until she got better. She was so cute.

Then we went to a sound room where they do hearing tests and to lots of other fun rooms where they do physical therapy and occupational therapy like I got until I was 5 years old. I met so many nice people there and I’m so happy they are a new $1,000 sponsor for the March of Dimes in New Jersey. They already have 200 people on their March for Babies walk team from a group called Commit 2 B Fit so I’m sure they’re going to raise a lot of money this year!

What an awesome day we had in New Jersey.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kerenn permalink
    February 23, 2010 8:03 pm

    Josh, yesterday you gave an amazing speech at our school in South Amboy! My friends and I think you are so brave for fighting for premature babies everywhere. I think our school won’t forget how cool and funny you are. Want to know something cool? Your last name- Hoffman- was the name of our former mayor! We even named the elementary school after him, so I guess that means you have a school named after you too! So anyways keep being so brave and kind. we will do our very own part at the March of Dimes Walk!

  2. Denise Warzecha permalink
    March 11, 2010 10:04 pm

    My sons, 13 and 17 years old attended the assembly and talked to me over an hour about Josh. They were impressed! Josh, you captivated an auditorium filled with high school students…you’re amazing! Thanks for visiting our small town with the big heart!

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