Event is set for Sunday at Spassland Park
GERMANTOWN — When Nick Heisl, 11, tried to volunteer at nonprofit organizations in the community, he was told he was too young.
His response wasn't to give up or wait until he was older.
He took matters in his own hands.
Heisl started a benefit for the MACC Fund (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer) that will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13, at Spassland Park, W160 N10000 Colonial Drive, Germantown.
With some help from his parents along the way, Heisl started Step Up 4 Kids. From name, design, branding and even a Facebook page with videos promoting the event, Heisl took the event head-on.
“I'm looking forward to just seeing how many people come and helping the community out and helping the MACC Fund raise money," Heisl said. “I know that I’m healthy and other kids aren’t healthy, so I want to get them healthy, too.”
The Kennedy Middle School student is a sports fanatic, participating in baseball, basketball and competing in an AAU basketball team. The benefit will reflect his interests with a community picnic and free-throw contest.
All proceeds from the event will go directly to the MACC Fund. Heisl has already raised $750 in cash donations.
More than $2,500 in prizes will be given away for the free-throw contest and as raffle items.
The free-throw contest has different age divisions: second grade and younger, third-fourth grade, fifth-sixth grade, seventh-eighth grade, and high school and adult.
Every age division has a prize package. Everyone who shoots will receive tickets to enter in for the consolation prize raffle.
'Kids like helping other kids'
Heisl has been planning this event since President's Day in February when he and his mother Anita had the day off.
"We started the day by driving down to the MACC Fund headquarters," Anita said. "He met the staff there and got some guidance on the event and history on the organization. Ultimately, kids like helping other kids; they identify with that. He’s a huge Bucks fan, huge sports fan, so it was a good fit for him. He was really excited about helping that particular organization."
The duo drove around to every park in Germantown so Nick could decide which had the best basketball hoops and would be the best fit for the event.
"He’s just been plugging away at it ever since," Anita said. "It’s been much, much bigger in scope than I think either one of us ever expected it to be.”
Nick is not in this alone; in fact, half of the volunteers are kids.
"This is really a kids helping kids event," Anita said. "He had half a dozen or so kids coming over to make signs. This isn’t just all on him. We have all these people in the community from ages 10 to 14 that are the core of this event.”
Nick's story struck a chord, especially, with Germantown Village Trustee Dennis Myers, who went to the Heisl family's home to talk with the 11-year-old about his work. Myers will attend the event and contribute a donation.
"I was surprised, in a good way, that somebody at his age wanted to do this," Myers said. "It’s just a feel-good story in regards to someone his age.”
As for whether Nick will be continuing this benefit event next year, his answer was "yes" without hesitation.
For more information on Step Up 4 Kids, visit the Facebook page created by Nick: www.facebook.com/StepUp4Kids.