The children chattered excitedly as they waited in the rainbow-colored lobby, giant check in hand, ready to have their picture taken at the Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in downtown Dallas.
These Dallas International School elementary schoolers were some of the most enthusiastic participants in the annual Rite Race, a fun run that the school puts on to help raise funds for the hospital. A total of $108,000 has been raised for the hospital through the Rite Race over the years. The $4,000 donation this year was the biggest contribution ever raised by the DIS community. To show their appreciation, the hospital invited the students down for a tour of their colorful facilities.
Mike Stimpson is the director of volunteer services at Scottish Rite. He and Mandi Valdez, a development officer at the hospital, led the tour.
“This will help our kids so much at the hospital,” Stimpson said as he accepted the check from the students. “We are so thankful that you guys do the Rite Race every year.”
Valdez then led the children into the lobby which housed an incredible blimp display, and the fun began. Students were shown all of the inner workings of the hospital: rooms where children use digital technology to play and recover, a hallway full of relics donated by local pro sports teams and even a hands-on presentation of prosthetic limbs made for patients.
“I always look forward to this every year,” Valdez said later. “The kids really do get into it and enjoy it. They embrace the race and the hospital. It’s great to see them pick a cause that they’re passionate about. We just really appreciate them.”
Stimpson said he appreciates the partnership that has formed between DIS and Scottish Rite.
“We are so thankful year after year that they choose to help us,” he said. “I think it’s a great example of kids helping other kids. We love it when they can come to the hospital and see firsthand what their money does. The fact that they’re in a school that encourages and teaches that is tremendous.”