Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins players, along with their wives and girlfriends, have teamed with the Palermo Heart to Heart Foundation to help support the Beads of Courage program at Geisinger Janet Weis Children's Hospital in Danville.
Beads of Courage is a resilience-based intervention designed to support and strengthen children and families coping with serious illness. Through the program children tell their story using colorful beads as meaningful symbols of courage that commemorate milestones they have achieved along their unique treatment paths
Upon enrollment in the program, each child is given the Beads of Courage bead color guide with a detachable membership card. Their Beads of Courage journey begins when each child is first given a length of string and beads that spell out their first name. Then, colorful beads, each representing a different treatment milestone are given to the child by their professional health care provider to add to their Beads of Courage collection throughout their treatment as determined by the Beads of Courage Bead Guide (available from Beads of Courage, Inc.).
Penguins players and their wives and girlfriends will be visiting program participants at Janet Weis Children's Hospital on Monday, February 18, delivering beaded bracelets made by the wives.
Each Penguins player will also wear a pair of special beads during pre-game warm ups on Saturday, March 2, when the Penguins face off against the Albany Devils. Players will keep one of the beads for themselves as a memento, and the second will be delivered to program participants at Janet Weis along with notes of encouragement from the team.
Also that night, wives and girlfriends will be selling special Penguins logo beads on the concourse to help support the program. For a $5 donation, fans can get a bead for themselves, and a bead will also be donated to local program participants.
In November 2011 the Palermo Heart to Heart Foundation became the sole sponsor of the Beads of Courage program at Janet Weis Children's Hospital. Started in 1994, the Palermo Heart to Heart Foundation has contributed more than $65,000 during the past 19 years, and has helped numerous individuals in need and supported other charitable organizations with cash donations.