Orange you spreading kindness?

Everything’s coming up orange with a sprinkle of kindness

 

A volunteer holds the a balloon steady as volunteer Laurel Downer ties ribbons on the balloon in preparation to hang them on the light poles along Mountain Avenue in Berthoud in honor of Alex Sabados Day of Kindness last year. Jan Dowker / The Surveyor

A volunteer holds the a balloon steady as volunteer Laurel Downer ties ribbons on the balloon in preparation to hang them on the light poles along Mountain Avenue in Berthoud in honor of Alex
Sabados Day of Kindness last year.
Jan Dowker / The Surveyor

By Jan Dowker
The Surveyor

One of spring’s first signs in Berthoud is the brightly colored orange balloons that sprout along Mountain Avenue. The balloons will again be out this Sunday, March 22, signifying another year celebrating Alex Sabados.

Every year since 2011, volunteers hang these balloons along Mountain Avenue commemorating the Alex Sabados Day of Kindness, a day that has become a week-long tribute to sharing not only kindness, but information about childhood cancer and giving back to families who are battling this disease.

Alex Sabados was known by everyone for a quick smile and his acts of kindness. He was an outgoing and athletic Berthoud youth who loved the outdoors and the color orange. In 2010, Alex lost his heroic battle to cancer when he was in eighth grade. That year, former Berthoud Mayor Tom Patterson signed a Proclamation stating that March 24 of each year will be recognized as “Alex Sabados Day.”

“To see how this has grown to involve the whole family, to involve everybody, is amazing,” said Alex’s mom, Julia Sabados.

The day has evolved to recognize other Berthoud youth, who’ve lost their battles to cancer, and continues its support for Children’s Hospital’s Oncology unit.

It’s all about community.

The dedicated volunteers on the Alex Sabados Day of Kindness Committee are fully energized to make the event bigger and more family-oriented, with businesses donating everything from bike helmets, to a bicycle, restaurant gift cards, coffee, orange drinks, and more.

And don’t forget the helium.

Alex Sabados

Alex Sabados

Hay’s Market can be credited with helping to bring the cheerful orange balloons to life with its donation.

“Michelle, Gloria, Kim, Suzanne, our group is so energetic,” said Julia. “The businesses that give gift cards, and all the people helping behind the scenes, it’s incredible.”

On March 22, the much-anticipated Danny Walker Supercamp will be staged north of the high school property off South Eighth Street. There will be a free Learn to Ride motorcycle clinic from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for ages 12-and-up. As a youth clinic, families can watch their kids learn to ride with all donations going to Children’s Hospital Oncology.

Just around the corner, the Kindness 5K (K5K) will be held at Berthoud High School, with the competitive race kicking off at 11 a.m. and the family fun run-walk from noon – 2 p.m. The $20 fee for the competitive race includes a T-shirt with donations going to the Children’s Hospital Oncology unit.

The BHS student council co-sponsor Jenn Santos shared that the kids felt that it was important to continue their participation in the Day of Kindness and promote it at the high school.

“I am excited to host the first annual kindness 5K,” she said. “The students will be helping with course set up, running the water stations on the course, and also volunteering for the registration table and finish line.”

Santos said the BHS Athletic Booster Club agreed to supply the concession stand that will be run by the After Prom committee who will keep the donations for use at the high school’s after prom event.

Other opportunities to share kindness include the “Bears and Beers” at City Star Brewing and Berthoud Brewing Co., with donations of $1 donated to Children’s Hospital Oncology unit for every beer purchased and a request for donations of new teddy bears that will then be donated to children with cancer.

Day-of-kindness-op-2Berthoud Community Library will accept canned goods and non-perishable food for the House of Neighborly Services. Also, donations of new books, DVD’s, or games are requested which will then be donated to Children’s Hospital Oncology. Pop top tabs will benefit Ronald McDonald House.

Now in its fourth year, the orange kindness cards and gold ribbons will be given out throughout the schools, library and businesses to promote kindness and raise awareness of pediatric cancer.
“The gold ribbon is to bring awareness for children’s cancer and to help find a cure,” said Julia. “It’s to support the child that cannot go play because he’s in the treatment at Children’s Hospital.”

Santos shared that the Berthoud High School student council kids helped make over 1,500 Alex Sabados Kindness Cards.

“They’re also promoting the Cancer Awareness week and volunteering their time to make sure the events throughout the week are a success,” said Santos.

She said that it was important to the students that they remember not only Alex Sabados, but also Angelo Dabbiero, and other Berthoud students who have fallen victims to cancer.

On Tuesday, March 24, BHS will have a student assembly for the Day of Kindness. Six students who will be awarded the Kindness Award and certificate and their names will be etched on the Kindness Award trophy on display at the high school.

Also on Tuesday, sharing kindness includes a free cup of coffee sponsored at Da Bean, Grandpa’s, Jo to Go and Trailhead Café.

“What I like, is that on any given day, you’re driving along and you see a boy with the orange t-shirt on – or you’re out in public and they have the orange bracelets on,” said Dave Sabados, Alex’s dad.

“If we teach one child or put a smile on one child, if we see someone helping someone in a store, that’s success for a year,” said Julia.

With the advent of social media, the orange kindness card can be shared virtually. This year, the committee encourages everyone to share their act of kindness through Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook or some other social media, then use the hashtag, #AlexSabadosDOK.

There are still opportunities to volunteer throughout the day’s events on March 22 and organizers encourage everyone to learn more by visiting their Facebook event page, “Alex Sabados Day of Kindness – March 24th.”

– Alex Sabados Day of Kindness schedule of events –

Sunday, March 22
11 a.m.: Kindness 5k race at BHS, competitive
(includes t shirt)
Noon: Family memorial walk/run, cost is open
donation.
10 a.m.- 5 p.m.: Learn to ride motorcycle course
Berthoud High School activities:
Monday, March 23
Movie character dress up day
Activity night at Berthoud High School
Dodgeball/ board games
Tuesday, March 24
Alex Sabados Day: Students wear orange
2:25 p.m.: Assembly at BHS gym, John Hall, master
of ceremonies.
Kindness awards presentation
Wednesday, March 25
Twin Day
6 p.m.: Mr. Spartan / Miss Berthoud High School
BHS auditorium
Talent show/ sarcastic fun
Thursday, March 26
Sports day/ favorite team
9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.: Blood drive for cancer
patients in BHS small gym
6:30 p.m.: Stubble volleyball BHS gym (all grades)
$3-$5 to attend
Friday, March 27
Fancy Friday -dress up
6 p.m.: Prom Fashion Show in BHS commons. All
proceeds go to the Oncology Department of Children’s
Hospital in honor of Angelo Dabbiero.
Dessert and drinks will be served, $10 to attend.