Perry Pride donation made to Braden’s Hope

Story and photos by Carolyn Kaberline

Not only was Sunday the day for Christmas festivities at the Perry Community Building, it was also a time for members of Perry Pride to present Braden’s Hope with a donation in honor of Jayden Souter who died in April after a two-year battle with cancer.

Perry Pride

John Tolbert, son of Sonia Dunavin and Charles Tolbert, places an ornament on a tree under the new gazebo.

“The members of Perry Pride came to us in May to see if it was okay with us if they had the 5K run during the fall festival in honor of Jayden,” Erica Souter, Jayden’s mother said. “We don’t have Jayden’s foundation set up yet, so we wanted to donate the proceeds to Braden’s Hope.”

Braden’s Hope, a foundation named for Braden Hofen, whose neuroblastoma cancer is currently in remission, is a 501(c) (3) foundation to create awareness of childhood cancer and to increase funding for the research needed to find cures for it. Both Braden’s Hope and the soon to be Baby Jay’s Legacy of Hope also hope to provide funds and support for families facing cancer in their children.

“When you get hit with that [a diagnosis of childhood cancer], it’s like getting hit with a brick to the face,” Erica said, adding that she hopes Baby Jay’s Legacy of Hope will have 501 status by the end of the year. In the meantime, more information can be found about the foundation at http://www.babyjayslegacy.org/ along with other groups that are focused on finding a cure for childhood cancers and offering support to families. “The groups we have listed there are very near and dear to us,” added Erica.

Pride Pride

Jessica Price, representing Perry Pride, presents a check of $500 to Deliece Hofen for Braden’s Hope. From left are Jason Souter (holding daughter Trinity), Erica Souter, Deliece Hofen, Zach Hofen, Brian Hofen, Braden Hofen and Jessica Price.

After a soup supper, Perry Pride member Jessica Price presented a check for $500 from Perry Pride to Brian and Deliece Hofen, parents of Braden, in honor of Jayden. An additional $300 dollars raised since the 5K run at the fall festival was also presented to the Hofens.

“It was so awesome tonight,” Erica said. “I know the Hofen’s were very excited and honored to accept the donation for the foundation. I can’t believe how wonderful Perry and surrounding communities have been in supporting our family and the cause of childhood cancer awareness and research. People have been so supportive of us.”

Following the soup dinner and the presentation, Santa Claus made a visit to the community center. Children were also encouraged to place a decoration on the tree under the new gazebo outside the center prior to the tree lighting and singing of Christmas carols. Mayor Mike Lang noted the sense of community support and involvement of Perry Pride through their many projects as well as the city’s pride in the new gazebo.

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