SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hollis Belger is not your ordinary nine-year old girl. While most kids spend their summers at camp or sitting around at home complaining about being bored, Hollis has used her passion for soccer to help make a difference in the world. Beginning this summer with the launch of her foundation “Juggling for Jude,” Hollis has juggled her soccer ball every-day to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital – a world-renowned pediatric treatment and research facility in Memphis, TN, focused on catastrophic childhood illnesses, including cancer.
Hollis started juggling last year as a member of her local under-9 club girls’ team, and it soon became clear that she had an exceptional talent. It didn’t take long for coach Brandon Murphy to take note. He said, “She had a knack for it right from the beginning, and she’s always been a tenacious kid.” Hollis expanded on her skill for juggling by starting Juggling for Jude, a fundraising effort that gathers donations from Hollis’ blog, Facebook, and fundraising website. Beginning this past June, Hollis began dedicating time every day to count the number of consecutive touches, and she has posted regular videos to the Juggling for Jude website. Hollis established two rules to increase the difficulty level: alternating her feet each touch and not using her thighs. Since beginning her effort, Hollis has raised a staggering $15,000 and achieved a personal best of 326 consecutive juggles. Her coach applauds her dedication and commitment, calling her “a great example for other kids her age.” Having met her original goal, Hollis has upped the ante and increased her goal to $25,000, which she hopes to raise by September 1st.
For the talented young athlete, St. Jude Children’s Hospital has always held a special spot. “I have always had a place in my heart for St. Jude Hospital because they are kids who are just like me, except they have cancer,” says Hollis. “I hope what I’m doing helps make a difference in their lives.” Whether at summer camp or on vacation, and even fighting through a dance injury, Hollis makes time to juggle the soccer ball. While she admits to being tired or frustrated at times, she reminds herself, “if it were easy, people wouldn’t be donating.” Kate Foster, a St. Jude patient in her teens who lost her leg to cancer but has fought back as a competitive gymnast, is especially moved: “It’s amazing to see a nine-year old have the focus and determination to make Juggling For Jude happen. Hollis is not only helping kids at St. Jude, but kids all around the world. You go girl!"
To learn more about Hollis or to help support her cause, visit her website at http://jugglingforjude.wordpress.com/