What’s it like sliding into 1000 gallons of Jell-O?
Each year American Heritage holds the Gelatin Olympics to raise money for the Kids-N-Hope Foundation which helps support the music therapy program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. AMHFCU intern, Kirstin Wilson, shares her experience of sliding into Jell-O for the first time! To learn more about the Kids-N-Hope Foundation visit kidsnhope.org.
CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) has always been a big part of my life. Everyone there is pretty amazing at their jobs, especially in the Seashore House. This is where talented doctors, nurses and staff provide some of the best pediatric care in the nation, specialized in developmental disabilities and chronic illnesses.
In 1996, American Heritage formed the Kids-N-Hope Foundation, which provides hope to CHOP through a Music Therapy Program. Through its fundraising, Kids-N-Hope can purchase music equipment, provide music therapists for the patients and allow them to express themselves through music.
The way Kids-N-Hope fundraises for CHOP’s Music Therapy Program is through the exciting events American Heritage and their partners hold all year round. The most recent event being the 24th Annual Gelatin Olympics. That’s right, gelatin; as in participants sliding into a pool of a 1000 gallons of strawberry Jell-O. Crazy, right? Well, it gets crazier. This event alone brings in over 100 sliders, with some participants reaching thousands of dollars in individual fundraising. The amount this event raises keeps growing every year, with this year being the biggest its ever reached, $37,000!
As a first-time slider, the whole idea of sliding into Jell-O was beyond exciting for me, but I still felt a little terrified. I stood in line for all of 5 minutes but it felt like an hour as I watched slider after slider come out of the tent covered in bright red Jell-O and huge smiles on their faces. When I climbed the ladder, and saw the pool from the top and everyone watching, I second guessed myself. Why did I think sliding into that much Jell-O would be a good idea? But that doubt was left behind the moment I hit the slide and plopped into the pool.
Freezing. Cold. Strawberry. Jell-O.
I went completely under and when I jumped out, bright red Jell-O completely covered my body. My sunburnt looking skin and strawberry scent were worth it. Not only did my fundraising allow me to slide and get a free t-shirt, it also brought music and expression to the kids in CHOP. It might be the stickiest thing I do all summer, but it will not doubt be the thing I look forward to most for years to come.
Here’s a video of Kirstin sliding!