HFM is incredibly blessed to have so many heroes who support our cause. We were in the midst of starting a ‘Hope for Miracles Hero Feature’ to spotlight those heroes helping to bring hope to our Neuroblastoma Warriors and their families, whether through current issues or past, when we were given a new blessing and hero to celebrate.
As you know, we have been fundraising to cover costs for bandanas in order to protect our most precious and vulnerable group, pediatric cancer patients and their families, who sadly, have no masks as the hospitals have none to give. This Month’s HFM Hero Award goes to ~ Sandy Smith! Sandy reached out to us and offered to make masks for our pediatric cancer patients and their families. She’s even making masks to size! Not only that, but she’s already made 300 masks and donated them to others in need. Sandy, from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you!
"I joined this great nonprofit in order to get involved in my community and quickly realized just how wonderful this organization is and how much they do for children and families of those that are affected by this horrible disease. Being a part of this amazing group allows me to give back by merging my love for children and my deep need to eradicate all cancers especially those that are inflicted on our most vulnerable population, children. My hope is for this nonprofit to have all the successes it is capable of with the support of generous members of this community and beyond in order to find a cure so that no family ever has to fear about their child being inflicted with his illness. This one's for you grandpa!"
As I sit this morning in my window seat (my favorite thing to do on a morning when I’m not working) with Karson facing me, our legs entwined while he plays his Nintendo Switch, I am thinking on my “One Word Challenge” for 2020. I say to Karson, “buddy, I need to think of a word for this year, last year’s was Heal”. Without even a pause he says, “Faith”; and he’s got it in one. “Faith”…. His insightfulness never ceases to amaze me. He is one VERY special little man.
If you’re not aware of what a “One Word Challenge” for the year is, let me fill you in. Jon Gordon, one of my favorite motivational speakers, suggests the one word challenge in place of a New Year’s Resolution; where you live the word that you’ve chosen, throughout all aspects of your life, all through the year. I don’t know about you, but I can never stick to a New Year’s resolution, so this seems like a better option for me.
As I mentioned, last year’s word, and Hope for Miracles’ first word in it’s inception, was Heal ~ so fitting since this is exactly what Hope for Miracles, Inc. is all about and was formed to do – bring healing.
Now Faith – How could Karson, Cole and I, and all of us at Hope for Miracles, not have faith when God has been with us every step of the way and pointed us in this direction. This – Hope for Miracles – is our purpose. We continue to have “Faith” that together we can and will raise funding to find a cure for Neuroblastoma.
“To every thing there is a season” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.
2020 will be a time of Faith.
From all of us at Hope for Miracles, we wish you and yours all the best of health and happiness in the year 2020!
"Nina and I were introduced to the Hull family about three years ago, through the Keene Central mentoring program. Nina was paired with the Hull’s eldest daughter Katie. A very special relationship immediately developed between Nina and Katie. Their relationship provided us the opportunity to connect with the entire family, which has resulted in a wonderful friendship. While attending the first Gala of Miracles, it was shared that of the total funds raised for cancer research each year, only 4% of those funds go to childhood cancer research. Several times over the months following the Gala we found ourselves discussing how can it be only 4%? So when Holly and Cole told us that they were forming Hope for Miracles, and invited us to serve on the board, we were honored to be asked to play a part, in not only bringing awareness of the research needed, but in hopes to, and with the help of others, improve on that 4%." ~ Roger
Roger brings with him over 45 years of diverse business experience to the Hope for Miracles Board of Directors. He began his working career in his hometown of Nebraska City, Nebraska at the age of 9, as a paperboy. He has excelled in both the public and private sectors of the Landscape and Ground Maintenance, Holiday Decorating and Residential Land Development Industries in addition to co-founding GroundWorks Inc. with his wife Nina. Roger is currently the Superintendent at the Ausable Club in St. Huberts, New York.
He credits the lessons learned on his paper route to the success he has been blessed with throughout his career - the most important lesson learned was what it took to be a person of integrity. “Recognizing that Hope for Miracles Inc. was founded from the passion of Holly and Cole, two individuals with great integrity, I am humbled and blessed to play a part in furthering the mission of Hope for Miracles”.
Founder, CEO & Director of Advertising/Communications/Social Media
“I will never forget the feelings of despair and hopelessness as the doctors prepared us for the worst after Karson’s first surgery. As a parent there are no words to describe your fear and sense of impotence when you are told that your child has cancer and might not survive; that there is no cure and not enough research has been done to know which therapy might be best. There are still times when I wake up in a cold sweat, frantic – with all of those same feelings coming to the forefront of my mind and trying to suffocate me. I run to check on Karson – actually, who am I kidding, I have such anxiety when I am not sleeping next to him at night that I rarely don’t; when I see him sleeping peacefully, I remember he is ok, he is blessed, and there is hope. By the grace of God, Karson is cancer free. He is a healthy, active, beautifully average boy – but what if it comes back? What about all the other children and families fighting? What about the 800 children that are diagnosed with this disease each year? These are too many questions that can’t be answered. Strength is in numbers my friends, and together, we can beat this; we CAN make miracles happen. WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP!” ~ Holly
Holly LaBombard-Hull’s name is synonymous with energy and efficiency. If there is a goal that needs to be accomplished, she is the person to do it! Holly has been an educator/administrator for more than 11 years. She began her career in education at Clinton Community College as an Adjunct Faculty Member while she was finishing her Master’s Degree and on the heels of the birth of her second child. Holly holds a Baccalaureate Degree in Mathematics and a Master’s in Teaching. After teaching for five years and welcoming her 3rd child, she felt that yearning for more and pursued her C.A.S. in district and building level administration. Holly has certifications in Mathematics, Special Education and School & District Wide Leadership. Holly brings with her to this position over 4 years’ worth of leadership experience coordinating special education programming, curriculum, and faculty.
Holly is not afraid of hard work; she is passionate, energetic and persistent. Holly is driven by strong and deep compassion and empathy for others, especially those most vulnerable among us who deserve our attention and understanding. She has been fortunate to work with inspiring students, educators, leaders and mentors who have helped her continue to grow as an individual as well as a caring, responsible educator and leader in her community. Holly is excited to bring all she has learned into this new venture and lead this amazing team of individuals to a rewarding outcome - a cure/s for children with Neuroblastoma.
Holly’s children are her world. When not in school or at one of the children’s sporting events, you will find this family near the water (weather permitting) – regardless of the location (the river, the lake or the ocean), you’ll find them all together.
Founder, First Vice President
& Co-Director of Fundraising
“My perspective on life changed on August 15, 2014. When you are sitting in a small room in the hospital with the doctor and he tells you your child has cancer, that’s when life changes!! You can give up and hate everything about life or stay strong and make it your life’s mission to kick cancers ass; we went with plan B. The care, love and kindness we received at UVMCH also helped inspire Holly and I. We have learned a lot in the past five years and had the opportunity to meet some amazing people. Everyone in life is dealt a hand; it’s not always easy, fun or fair. It’s how you handle it that defines who you are. It’s our goal to do everything we can to help raise awareness about childhood cancer and change the measly 4% given for research.” ~ Cole
Cole grew up on a small farm in Royalton, VT. He graduated from South Royalton High School in 1991 and went into the Army Reserves for a short time. He then began working at Bombardier in Barre, VT for a few years, until in 1995 he had the opportunity to move to Plattsburgh, NY to help start up their new plant. He soon worked his way up to production supervisor. In 2004 he decided it was time for a change and took a Department Manager position at Lowes, which was another great learning experience. Lowes raises money for the MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) and the store always did well selling. The last year Cole was at Lowe’s, he came up with a plan for selling shamrocks, with help from the entire store and Cory Ross, they decided they were going to be the #1 store that year, and they did it; they were the top store out of 1400 other Lowes stores. This helped Cole to believe that when you get a small group of people to come together for a common goal, miracles can happen. Everyone knows retail has long hours along with nights and weekends. In 2015 Holly and Cole decided it was time for Cole to officially start his own business. Cole S Hull Woodworking was his new full time job. He had been sawing slabs and building custom furniture for many years. Leaving a good paying job with good benefits was a little scary, but the trade off was being home more with his family. Cole says this was one of the best things he ever did. He now has a shop in Lake Placid building custom furniture and selling live edge slabs. He’s currently venturing into an additional business partnership with an old friend. Look for big things from Adirondack Custom Engraving; they specialize in custom signs, plaques and on site stone engraving.
Director of Events
"Nina and I were introduced to the Hull family about three years ago, through the Keene Central mentoring program. Nina was paired with the Hull’s eldest daughter Katie. A very special relationship immediately developed between Nina and Katie. Their relationship provided us the opportunity to connect with the entire family, which has resulted in a wonderful friendship. While attending the first Gala of Miracles, it was shared that of the total funds raised for cancer research each year, only 4% of those funds go to childhood cancer research. Several times over the months following the Gala we found ourselves discussing how can it be only 4%? So when Holly and Cole told us that they were forming Hope for Miracles, and invited us to serve on the board, we were honored to be asked to play a part, in not only bringing awareness of the research needed, but in hopes to, and with the help of others, improve on that 4%." ~ Roger & Nina
After graduating with a degree in Fashion Merchandising and Design, Nina worked for two different private owned women's boutiques, one in Omaha, and the other in Rhode Island. Over the span of twenty plus years, Nina's responsibilities were, but not limited to - buying, merchandising the stores, designing and executing window displays, and sales.
After marrying her husband Roger, they founded and were co-owners of GroundWorks; a company that provided complete ground maintenance and snow removal. They also had a holiday division. Nina oversaw the interior side of the holiday business. Holiday being the largest segment of their business; they could employ up to 55 employees. They had 10,000 square feet of warehouse that housed all the decor that clients had them store after the season. Nina and her crews designed, installed and removed holiday decor for Banks, Credit Unions, Casinos, Malls, Hospitals and high-end homes. In January after all decor was removed and back to the warehouse, Nina and Roger would go to Atlanta or Dallas and buy decor for the next season. After 13 years Nina and Roger sold the company.
Many clients and friends prompted Nina to use her passion for creating, and love for design that they witnessed while owning GroundWorks. That’s when Nina started Uniquely Nina Event Planning. Her events range from high-end weddings, private parties, fundraisers, bridal shows, and more.