Hundreds Attend Chris Ramirez’s Cherab Foundation Anti-Bullying Birthday Party
“Cherab Foundation is a very special organization. They made this a life-changing event for Chris and our family. The community came together and gave Chris the birthday of the lifetime. ” ~Mary Ramirez
“Chris’s party was over the top. So much better than I could have possibly wished for. So many wonderful people showed up and opened their hearts to us. I want to thank everyone involved, who volunteered with all my heart. And Lisa Geng, who is a Tasmanian ANGEL on wheels. You ROCK girl. Cherab Foundation is a very special organization. They made this a life-changing event for Chris and our family. The community came together and gave Chris the birthday of the lifetime. I look forward to seeing everyone again.”~Mary Ramirez
It’s not just Chris, who is diagnosed with Autism, and his family who benefitted from his wish for caring and friendship, locals and people from as far north as Daytona, and as far west as Tampa came both in support of Chris or because they too find themselves in a similar situation, alienated or bullied by folks in their communities. Cherab Foundation’s crowdFunnit was founded with the intent of bringing an awareness and an end to alienation and bullying in a proactive way,” said crowdFunnit founder Lisa Geng, a Port St. Lucie resident. “The acceptance, compassion, and friendships that happened for Chris and his family and those who have come to support or be supported have been amazing.”
Hundreds attend student’s birthday party
By Donald Rodrigue For Hometown News
ST. LUCIE WEST — In what resembled a Columbia Pictures Hollywood movie premiere Sept. 30 at Superplay USA, Oak Hammock eighth-grader Chris Ramirez arrived in a K-9 police escort leading a convey including the Ecto1 driven by the Cat5 Ghostbusters to celebrate his 14th birthday.
No, the young Port St. Lucie resident was not akin to Ritchie Rich, but rather the city’s second recipient of an over-the-top birthday celebration orchestrated by crowdFunnit, a division of the not-for-profit Cherab Foundation that hosts community birthday parties for children needing a social network boost. The first recipient was 13-year-old William Morales on Aug. 13, 2017, at the same location. Chris’ mother, Mary Ramirez, said she first heard about the two nonprofit organizations through the Morales event and said her son’s party was awesome.
“I could not have possibly asked for a better day,” she said. “We met a lot of wonderful people who opened their hearts to us.”
Ms. Ramirez reached out to the organizations after unsuccessfully trying to encourage her autistic son, who was the victim of at least six verified bullying instances last year alone and had become increasingly withdrawn. Since the pre-media coverage of the free massive birthday event that ultimately drew nearly 400 partygoers, she said things have definitely improved for her son and he’s been coming out of his shell as a result.
“The media coverage of this event has helped awareness of anti-bullying,” Ms. Ramirez added. “The community came together and gave Chris the birthday of a lifetime. It was over the top, and so much better than I could have possibly wished for. So many wonderful people showed up and opened their hearts to us.”
Invitation to the party was free and prospective guests were simply needed to RSVP via the eventbrite.com website in order to ensure the event didn’t go over maximum capacity. Once there, both Chris and his partygoers were treated to special performances by other superheroes courtesy of Treasure Coast Cosplayers, Star Wars Stormtroopers from the 501st Legion, Captain Jack Sparrow, a dance troupe, the St Lucie Mets Mascot Klutch and national recording artist JessLee who recently appeared on The Voice! and sang happy birthday to Chris.
“I felt as happy as I could have possibly been,” the birthday boy said. “I arrived at the party in the Sheriff’s Department car with the K-9 officer Bo and officer Matt. I Felt like a VIP.”
Party guests enjoyed a professional DJ, face painting, a green screen dress-up photo booth, a face painting balloon artist and of course, an off-the-chain birthday cake that Ms. Geng referred to as a “Cake Wars-level” creation in the shape of a coral reef and featuring a spaceship.
“These were two of two of Chris’s favorite things,” she added. “The baker is using dry ice to make it look like the spaceship is taking off.”
Ms. Ramirez made special note of the cake and expressed her gratitude to all those who participated in making her son’s party a success.
“The cake was out of this world,” she exclaimed. “I want to thank all the volunteers and messaging for all the wonderful work they put together to make this party a success.”
Ms. Geng had also arranged a special price at the venue for those who attended Chris’ blowout and wanted to play games before or afterward, which incorporated a $5 donation to the Cherab Foundation.
“If they wanted to bowl or play games or eat food there was a charge for all three,” she explained. “This year and last year we used the party package, which included two hours of bowling and all the equipment, two slices of pizza and a drink, and a $3 arcade swipe card. We sold them for $15.”
The evening after the party, Chris said he felt like he would have a little adjustment coming down to Earth the next day at school.
“I feel I deserved the day off,” he laughed.
Ms. Geng founded the Cherab Foundation in 2000 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to children with neurological or genetic impairments that affect communication such as autism and apraxia. She started crowdFunnit in 2015 to focus on such children who become isolated due to bullying by their peers.
Ms. Geng has held nine such events since 2015 and is now planning a fundraiser Nov. 4 at the Rush Jensen Beach extreme trampoline park to bring community awareness to the Cherab Foundation.
“This is an opportunity for special needs children and their families to experience a fun day in a safe and supportive environment, supporting differences while fostering compassion and friendship,” she added.
The Cherab Foundation Goal
Volunteer based since 2000, the Cherab Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit for children with neurological or genetic impairments that affect communication with a focus on Autism and Apraxia. With your help, we can reach our goal to host at least one party every single month across all 50 States! We are also launching a school-based program right here in South Florida, with a goal to reach every district in the country. This new program will expand upon the tools we’ve developed to encourage acceptance and compassion within their daily school environment where we feel the impact will be greatest.
CrowdFunnit, a project of the 501(c)3 Cherab Foundation, hosts HUGE Community Birthday Parties for friendless kids across the country. Featured in local and national news, we proactively fight bullying by bringing together like-minded people, raising awareness about differences and fostering acceptance and compassion. Volunteer-based since 2000, the Cherab Foundation is focused on helping children with neurological and genetic communication impairments such as autism and apraxia. . Donationsare tax-deductible. Federal tax ID number is 22-3685234