Date: 5/1/2012

Toy Donation from Flamini Foundation benefits Pediatric Patients

Community Hospital Pediatric nurse manager Patty Hoffman, R.N.(left) meets with representatives of the Flamini Foundation (back row center to right) Theresa Flamini, Nikki Doty, Tia Ballarini (front, left and right) Emmi Doty and Isa Ballarini to make a special delivery. The girls’ raised more than $300 in lemonade stand proceeds over the summer to purchase toys for patients.

Even though Isa Ballarini and Emmi Doty are only five and six years old, respectively, they already know the importance of sharing toys and are learning about the true meaning of giving. Representing the Flamini Foundation, the girls recently delivered toys and gifts to Pediatric patients at Community Hospital in Munster.

Over the summer, the girls held fund raisers to purchase the toys by selling lemonade, popcorn and silly bands at a stand set up in their neighborhoods, as well as a local park and soccer field.

Theresa Flamini said of the girl’s project which raised more than $300, “We’ve been doing this for a couple of years now, and every year they are ‘getting it’ more and more. They are going to be philanthropists when they grow up.”

According to Patty Hoffman, R.N., nurse manager of Pediatrics at Community Hospital, the donations will be distributed to children who come into the hospital to help make their stay less scary and more comfortable.

“They will get to take their gift home with them,” Hoffman said. “We really appreciate the great job these girls did on our kids’ behalf.”

The Flamini Foundation was started in 2010 by James and Theresa Flamini of St. John who decided to pool their resources and provide a happier holiday season for chronically sick children instead of exchanging gifts themselves.

Initial donations were made to Ronald McDonald House and its affiliated hospitals, but the Foundation has since expanded on the number and variety of charitable activities and the list of hospital recipients.

“The thought was to be able to keep this in our own backyard; give back to our own community,” said Theresa Flamini.

Last holiday season, the Flamini Foundation spread cheer with its giving program to area hospitals including the hospitals of Community Healthcare System: Community Hospital in Munster, St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart.

For more information about the Flamini Foundation, visit