Mount Student Goes Above and Beyond
Emmitsburg, Maryland - Members of the Mount community strive every day to live the University’s four pillars: faith, discovery, leadership and community. For senior Vinny Cherry, his leadership and dedication to the community has earned him the title of Outstanding Role Model for Kids. Vinny has been selected by the United Methodist Home for Children for his foundation Vinny’s Kids, Inc. He will be honored for his extraordinary commitment to children at the Fourth Annual Kenneth R. Arthur Have a Heart for Kids Gala being held on February 11.
Vinny founded VKI in 2004 at the age of 14 to provide sick children with entertainment during their hospital stay. Inspired by his own experience while hospitalized at age seven, he hoped to make the experience less stressful for young patients.
The program initially outfitted a Vinny’s Kids Activities Room at the Harrisburg Hospital pediatric unit. Since then, Vinny’s Kids has expanded its outreach to other organizations for children facing chronic or life-threatening illnesses, other hospital-based pediatric programs and special needs programs. Other recipients include Camp Victory, a network of camps for children with specialized medical needs, Camp Echo and Camp STAR, all of which draw chronically ill children from the Central Pennsylvania area. In December 2011, he established a Vinny’s Kids Activities Room at the Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital.
The main fundraiser for the charity is the annual VK5K Race for Vinny’s Kids which has raised more than $150,000 to support the cause. This year’s race will be held on Sunday, March 18 at City Island.
Vinny is currently a senior here at Mount St. Mary’s University and is majoring in philosophy with a minor in theology. Vinny is a member of the University’s Division I track and cross country teams. His career goal is to be a nurse anesthetist.
For more information: Vinnyskids.org