Breaking boards for NICU babies
Failure is not an option at World Champion Taekwondo. “Anyone who comes through here succeeds,” says Sue Reuterskiold, office manager at World Champion Taekwondo – West Union.
That’s why all eight Portland area World Champion Taekwondo studios knew their first annual Break-A-Thon would successfully raise $10,000 for Randall Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). What they didn’t know was they would easily surpass their goal and raise more than $20,000.
The event, held Dec. 10 at Hillsboro’s South Meadows Middle School, combined the studio’s annual celebration with martial arts demonstrations and the opportunity for students to break 10 balsa boards in support of the hospital’s tiniest patients.
Taekwondo students—from 5 years old to adult—needed to raise $30 to participate in the board breaking event. “Some students went house-to-house with their uniforms on —we didn’t tell them to do this —and they raised $500 to $800,” says William Deering, manager, World Champion Taekwondo–Oswego Village.
A few students found creative ways to raise their entry fee. One student sold handmade ornaments, generating $175. And, one student collected 200 $1 dollar bills from the loyal customers and fellow employees at the grocery store where he works. “Our students felt really proud supporting the children’s hospital,” says Master Choi, World Champion Taekwondo – West Linn.
The studios chose to rally around Randall Children’s Hospital NICU because Reuterskiold’s 5-year-old granddaughter, Piper Crawford, was born premature in 2011 and required six weeks of advanced care. Also, longtime World Champion Taekwondo student Leanna Jones, works in the NICU and, coincidentally, was Piper’s nurse.
“Randall is one of the most advanced NICUs in the region,” says Jones. “We have some of the best outcomes in the nation for our patients, which has a lot to do with our doctors and their commitment to these little ones.”
As a NICU graduate, Piper kicked-off the Break-A-Thon. “Randall Children’s Hospital took such good care of Piper and her parents, says Reuterskiold. “Everyone there was so caring, nurturing and loving. It was absolutely worth every moment to give that big check to Randall Children’s Hospital,” she says.