Tara Fitzgibbon

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Tara is a ray of sunshine with an enormous heart.  She was a passionate team captain leading many JetBlue crewmembers in the annual Light Up a Life employee volunteer program where employees decorated hundreds of SoaringQuilts to donate to hospitalized kids in 65 cities throughout North America and the Caribbean. Tara also was a volunteer for Soaringwords’ Make A Difference Day, where she and her son Justin participated in a dance jam to benefit ill kids. When Tara’s son Justin became paralyzed from a cancerous growth on his spine, the mother and son lived in the hospital and rehabilitation center for two years. To cheer up Justin, Tara’s co-workers sent him a customized quilt to brighten up his hospital room. Justin was also unanimously voted by the nurses and Child Life staff as the Mayor of the Ninth Floor. It is not surprising that Tara has also become a well-loved source of strength and comfort for all of the patients and their parents who look to her for support, hugs and her deep faith and wisdom. Tara and Justin are featured in Lisa’s first book SOARING into Strength: The New Science Approach to Help You Heal. On behalf of everyone at Soaringwords, we salute you Tara and we love you.

Soaringwords’ Volunteers

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Thomas Estler

A whirlwind of energy and love, Thomas has led Soaringwords Nia dance jams in several states. Whether darting through the gym, dancing on a picnic table top in New Orleans, leading workshops in hospitals, or representing Soaringwords at JetBlue events at JFK or Fashion Week New York, Thomas brings great enthusiasm and compassion to everything he does. At school dance programs he is a rock star. Forth and fifth graders gather around him and follow his each step. Favorite Soaringwords moments: when children share their own creative dance moves.

Ellen Bari

Over the years, Ellen has  ‘rolled up her sleeves’ to help Soaringwords soar, whether it was getting down on her knees to organize the office,  making a mess with markers with a group of New York City kids, or trekking  out to New Orleans not long after Hurricane Katrina for much needed programs. Ellen’s creativity, insight and humor shine through in the seminal Soaringwords integrated arts curriculum she helped us develop, which has been used in hundreds of schools all across the country.  Favorite Soaringwords moment: discovering that some college students had decorated the Soaringwords quilts with interactive games.

Caroline Kohles

Caroline helped transform Times Square into Soaringwords largest dance jam for Make A Difference Day. She also led the first Soaringwords Nia dance jam with students at P.S 152 and cheered as we shared jams in 30 states. She brings her unique philosophy of “dancing through life” to inspire kids and grown-ups to move with the body’s way.

Liz Eisen, Sam Dworkin and Natalie Dworkin

This family has been a strong supporter of many of the Soaringwords museum initiatives. Sam and Natalie are featured in the SoaringMuseums videos. Sam has volunteered at many community events in the JCC and schools throughout the city. For two years, Sam and Natalie led several volunteer projects as their bar and bat mitzvah community service commitment.

Amber Nevens

Amber has taken on many huge volunteer projects such as managing our office move and helping us organize for volunteer projects. For years she was the Soaringwords team captain for New York Cares.  She brings light and joy to all of the volunteers programs she leads.

Beth Zagoria

Beth is a talented Creative Director who has added style, passion and great design to many Soaringwords offerings including the Soaringwords webinar presentation (What to Say or Do to Support Parents with Seriously Ill Children), and fliers and posters for all of our events.  She’s also helped direct several SoaringMuseums videos.

Alex Shear

We met Alex at the JetBlue Airways’ Light Up A Life program, where he volunteered for five straight days, eight hour shifts each day. At River to River Festival, Fashion Week or school programs, Alex’s love of people pulls everyone into the cause and inspires them to do something fun to help ill children and families to “Never give up!”