Strike 3 Foundation

The Strike 3 Foundation heightens awareness, mobilizes support, and raises funding for childhood cancer research.

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Blue Bunny transforms into laugh factory

Last Friday night, dozens of local children proved that adults aren’t the only ones who can rally for a cause. They packed Blue Bunny Books and Toys in Dedham Square for a “Kids Comedy Night” to benefit Red Sox pitcher Craig Breslow’s Strike 3 Foundation for childhood cancer research. From juggling to jokes to magic tricks, there was something for everyone, all in the name of eradicating cancer.

The event was organized by 10-year-old Maxwell Surprenant of Brighton, who learned about Breslow’s charity last fall. The Foundation launched a “Play it Forward” challenge in October to encourage children to come up with their own projects to raise money for the cause.

“Our charity had really been driven by adults and we wanted to focus on how kids can help other kids,” said Kelly Breslow, who attended Friday’s event. “Children don’t get bogged down by logistics and red tape…they’re optimistic by nature and this really channels their spirit.”

Surprenant is also the creative director of Catching Joy, a non-profit organization that promotes volunteerism beginning with young children and their families, which was founded by his mother, Joy Olaes Surprenant. The two missions dovetailed nicely, and Max Suprenant quickly began planning his event.

“I came up with the idea of kids coming up and telling jokes,” he said. “Kids have so much to give and laughter is always the best medicine. We want to do whatever we can to raise awareness.”

Children signed up to tell jokes to the audience, and some even created illustrations to help drill home the punchline. Four-year-old Bianca Cheatham of Randolph started out the night with a joke about a cookie who was feeling crummy. She attended the event with her grandparents, Dana Marchello and Angel Nunez.

“It sounded like a fun thing for her and of course the cause is a great one,” said Nunez.

Conor Zaferacopoulos, 10, of Dedham, is also a Catching Joy volunteer and read a handful of jokes that he found in a riddle book he bought at Blue Bunny Books and Toys. His favorite was about a criminal surfer and a crime wave.

“I love telling jokes,” he said. “And tonight is important because we’re trying to raise money for cancer.”

In between jokes, the crowd was entertained by the impressive magic tricks of Dedham magician Bill Doucette, juggling from Surprenant, and music from Charles Wang, 10, of Dover, who plays the oboe.

“I thought it would make people happy and add a little excitement to the night,” Wang said.

While Craig Breslow was already down in Florida for spring training, his wife Kelly texted him some of the jokes as they were told and he even chimed in with one of his own.

“He is so excited and so happy that Max put all of this together,” Kelly Breslow said. “Although children might be little, they can still have big ideas.”

She told the group that the Foundation has raised $1.5 million since it began in 2008.

Blue Bunny owner and local author Peter H. Reynolds also stopped by for a laugh.

“These are awesome jokes,” he said. “I think we should open up a comedy club.”

At the end of the event, all children who told a joke were entered into a raffle for a telescope donated by Dedham’s Four C’s for Kids Fund and an autographed baseball signed by David Ortiz of the Red Sox, donated by Suprenant. Donations were collected for the Strike 3 Foundation and all of the jokes told will be compiled and bound into books that Catching Joy will distribute to area hospitals’ pediatric waiting rooms.

To learn more about The Strike 3 Foundation and its Play It Forward Challenge, visit For additional information on Catching Joy, visit Visit Blue Bunny Books and Toys at

By Victoria Groves

March 6, 2014 · Reprinted from The Dedham Transcript © 2014

Mission Statement

The Strike 3 Foundation heightens awareness, mobilizes support, and raises funding for childhood cancer research.

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Strike 3 Foundation
PO Box 191
Monroe, CT 06468

(203) 502-0007

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