A special gift idea for Fathers Day, from a real Hooligan

Laura Craighead and Peter Reich with their kids Cicely and Carrey and their Fresh Air kid Shawnelle Francois, in Connecticut, 2011. Photo by Jerry Speier

Laura Craighead and Peter Reich with their kids Cicely and Carrey and their Fresh Air kid Shawnelle Francois, in Connecticut, 2011. Photo by Jerry Speier

Looking for a meaningful Fathers Day Gift?

Sharlys Dugan, of Dugan’s Hooligans fame, is working for the Fresh Air Fund this summer and she wanted to share this idea with MG readers. Why not ask Dad to host a child from a low-income New York City community over the summer?

It’s a gift that works both ways, according to the Fresh Air Fund:

This Father’s Day, we celebrate all the men in our lives and many men in New Jersey who take on the role of Fresh Air father, as they open their hearts to New York City children through The Fresh Air Fund’s Volunteer Host Family Program. This Father’s Day, consider sharing the joys of playing catch barefoot on the grass and roasting s’mores by the campfire with a New York City child.

“This experience can really impact your life in more ways than you would think; I am constantly discovering ways in which my Fresh Air child has enriched my life.  My sons got involved and they always look forward to seeing their New York City friend,” says one Fresh Air host father.

Each summer, over 4,000 children visit volunteer host families in rural, suburban and small town communities across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada.

Families find hosting so rewarding that more than 65 percent of all Fresh Air children are re-invited to visit the same host families year after year. Fresh Air children are given the opportunity to experience a world outside of New York City full of meadows to run in, streams to fish in and lakes to swim in.

The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer experiences to more than 1.8 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. To learn more about hosting a Fresh Air child this summer, please contact Deb Asirifi at 212-897-8969 or visit The Fresh Air Fund online at www.freshair.org.

Sharlys, a Hofstra University student from Madison, reunited with her brother Connor earlier this month for a mini-Hooligans concert at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Morristown.

connor and sharlys dugan

Siblings Connor and Sharlys Dugan Leszczuk of Dugan’s Hooligans perform in the Great Hall of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church for First Night Morris County in 2010. Photo by Kevin Coughlin



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