Local Teen Wins Disney Grant for Blind Friend

Best buddies are making a change, together. PHOTO: Nick Ferrante (left) and Mitchell Smedley (right)

Best buddies are making a change, together. PHOTO: Nick Ferrante (left) and Mitchell Smedley (right)

Nick Ferrante, a 13 year old from Ivyland PA and 8th grade student at St Katherine Drexel School in Holland, PA, is a volunteer member of the planning committee for Bike the Basin, a youth biking event that takes place annually each September and has raised over $600,000 for the Bucks County based Curing Retinal Blindness Foundation. The CRBF was started by the Smedley Family of Ivyland to fund research for their two sons’ blindness. Mitchell Smedley, 13, the younger affected Smedley brother, has been good friends with Nick Ferrante since early elementary school. Nick submitted an eight page application for a Disney Friends for Change grant to make Bike the Basin “bigger and better” in 2017. Nick described the reasons for his interest, details of how the money would be utilized, and background information on why the project is so important to him. Disney awarded him the maximum grant amount, $500.

Disney Friends for Change is a global initiative that inspires kids and their families to make a lasting, positive change. Through on-air public service announcements, online tools, and grants to support projects in neighborhoods around the world, the program provides youth with resources to encourage them to take action and make a difference. Visit Disney.com/Friends to learn more.

“We received an overwhelming number of wonderful applications, but Bike the Basin – Bigger & Better in 2017, stood out to us as one of the best.”

Nick and the Bike the Basin committee (over 25 teens) will use the $500 grant money to make improvements and additions to the event, such as adding balloons at the entrance, signage to direct parents of the young bike riders, and special logo shirts for the additional committee members that have joined. They are already working on the 7th annual Bike the Basin scheduled for Fall 2017.

“At a time when it seems everyone is tearing each other down and condemning differences, I am blessed to have my family, my children, surrounded by uplifting friends like Nick. His empathy toward my son and his commitment to and excitement for our cause are beyond heartwarming for me. I know how blessed my family is.” Kristin Smedley, President and Co-Founder, Curing Retinal Blindness Foundation

CRBF was founded by the Smedley Family (Bucks County) to fund research for treatments the blindness their two sons are affected by, CRB1 retinal disease. Bike the Basin is the largest fundraiser for the CRBF raising over $600,000 since the Smedley’s originated the event in 2011.

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2016-11-29T22:41:58+00:00