Julianna Colon is a third grade student from Egg Harbor City, NJ. She began volunteering with disabled children in South Jersey when she was only four years old. She joined an organization that her older sister helped out with and really enjoyed playing with all of the kids.
Last year she visited Lucy the Elephant in Margate City, NJ. Lucy the Elephant is a National Historic Landmark and is open to the public. You enter Lucy through one of her legs and go up into her belly and then up more steps to the top of her to look out at the ocean, Atlantic City and the rest of the island. Julianna thought it wasn’t fair that children and adults alike who were handicapped or disabled would not be able to go inside Lucy just like she did so she made a plan and presented it to the Director of Lucy Elephant. When the board members decided it was okay for her to hold a fundraiser, Julianna set out to raise money for Lucy to make it handicap accessible.
In September of 2005 she sent letters to the schools in South Jersey asking that they copy her applications for the students so that they could enter a poster contest. The theme of the contest was “Why should we preserve national historic landmarks and make them handicap accessible”. Each student that entered had to pay a $5.00 entry fee. Four winners were picked from the entries and each received a basket full of great things like a gift certificate to the mall, t-shirts, a stuffed toy Lucy the Elephant and more!
Julianna also went out and collected items to hold a Chinese Auction to raise additional monies for Lucy the Elephant on Make a Difference Day. She sold tickets for the auction items and kids were treated to balloons and free tattoos. Julianna raised over $1,000 towards making Lucy handicap accessible and hopes to raise more money this year. Currently she is helping by selling 50/50 raffle tickets for Lucy’s big 50/50 raffle.
Julianna goes above and beyond the call of duty for young girls her age by looking out for those with disabilities and trying to find ways to make their lives better. She knows many children who have disabilities and realizes how hard it is for their parents on a daily basis and knows that they can’t enjoy a lot of the things that she does. She also wants to make the world a better place for those with disabilities, whether she will actually meet them in person or not. When Lucy becomes handicap accessible in the future, not only will the disabled in South Jersey be able to enjoy her but also the millions of visitors who may be disabled that visit the Jersey Shore each year.