Life is full of those split-second moments that come out of nowhere and leave long-lasting changes. That's what Hatboro-Horsham High School senior Alyssa Raggio experienced in 2011 while vacationing in the Poconos during Memorial Day weekend.
Raggio was involved in a serious ATV accident that rendered her right arm and hand useless, and it looked like she faced a lifetime of living with half her body inactive. That's where the doctors at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Research Institute stepped in and performed neurological procedures that gave Alyssa hope.
"I'm not fully recovered, yet, but it is slowly getting better," she said.
To show her appreciation, Alyssa and her friend, Briana McEwen, have organized a fundraising carnival Saturday, noon to 5 p.m., at the Believe Cheer Academy, 239 Madison Ave., in Warminster. Alyssa and Briana are both students at the academy and members of the Hatboro-Horsham Cheerleading squad.
"Right after the accident, I was there in recovery for a week," said Alyssa. "I had several visits since then for surgeries, spending a couple days to a week. Everybody there is really nice and always happy."
For $5, visitors to the carnival can participate in games, jump on the moon bounce, try out different crafts, get their faces painted, meet special guest Spongebob Squarepant and take a picture with Santa Claus.
Alyssa and Briana began organizing the event in September as part of their graduation project for school. Together, they solicited donations from area businesses and put together a basket raffle to raise additional funds for the CHOP Research Institute, including a Coach purse, tickets to the Philadelphia Zoo and an autographed picture of Danny Briere of the Flyers.