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Yes, Mr. Rogers! & Lions for the Poor


Results: On Thursday, March 27, 300 preschool and kindergarten students from Lancaster’s poorest city schools attended the Dutch Apple performance of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, along with 60 students from Lancaster Catholic High School who served as chaperones. Students attending the performance enjoyed a buffet style lunch at the theatre and received a gift-filled goody bag to remember the day. Goody bags, nylon yellow drawstring bags, each contained a signed copy of He Said Yes, The Story of Father Mychal Judge (written by Kelly Ann Lynch and illustrated by M. Scott Oatman), a stuffed lion - purchased with funds raised by 9 year-old Christopher Lynch in his first project ("Lions For The Poor"), and a Hershey bar donated by the Office of Bishop Kevin Rhoades, Diocese of Harrisburg. Nearly $12,000 was raised by Mychal’s Message to fund the project, with donations from its supporters as well as from churches from all over the Diocese of Harrisburg and students at Lancaster Catholic High School. Arnold Worldwide Agency, Wayne, Pa donated over $1,000 in prizes that were raffled off to students at Lancaster Catholic High School who helped raise funds for the project. Additional funds raised were used to provide a day for 100 kindergartners from one of Lancaster's poorest city schools to visit the Hands On House, Lancaster, Pa. Those children all received a goody bag filled with Play-Doh, bubbles and a Tootsie Roll Pop. Nearly 400 children benefited from the Yes, Mr. Rogers! project thanks to the generosity of Mychal's Message supporters, parishioners at churches across the Diocese of Harrisburg, and students at Lancaster Catholic High School.


On the bus!

Lunch with chaperones from Catholic High.

Enjoying lunch and getting autographs from the cast!

Shannon and Mr. Rogers hand out goody bags. Christopher Lynch with Lions for the Poor poster.



Project story: Each year in January, Shannon chooses an anniversary project to celebrate the gift of her life-saving liver transplant.

Last winter, Mychal’s Message was joined by students and faculty from Lancaster Catholic High School as they distributed coats to the poor and homeless at a soup kitchen in Philadelphia.  Mr. Jim Rogers, Director of Spiritual Life at Catholic High, joined in that distribution and watched as Shannon searched for just the right coat for a wide-eyed toddler named Mikie.  “I’ll never forget that moment,” Mr. Rogers told us later, “and I’ll never forget that little boy.”  

According to Mr. Rogers, that moment in time changed his life. 

Yes, Mr. Rogers has influenced and enriched Shannon’s life.  And yes, Mr. Rogers has inspired Shannon.  Shannon is pleased to name this year’s anniversary project in his honor – YES, MR. ROGERS.

In this year’s project, Shannon will bring 300 kindergartners from the poorest schools in Lancaster to see a special live children’s performance of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre on March 27th.  Students will also enjoy lunch at the theatre and receive a gift-filled goody bag to remember the day.  It is Shannon’s hope to share her love of live theatre with these underprivileged children who would otherwise never experience this event.

Lions for the the Poor was created and planned by Christopher Lynch as part of the Yes, Mr. Rogers project:

Christopher Lynch, fourth grader invites students, parents, teachers and staff of St. Leo the Great School to help him raise funds to purchase 300 stuffed lions for inner-city kindergartners from Lancaster as part of his sister’s annual anniversary project. The project, dubbed “Lions for the Poor” is Christopher’s first original project with Mychal’s Message.

In Christopher’s Words … “Shannon Hickey is my sister. She almost died when she was a baby. She had a liver transplant and it saved her life. Every year, Shannon celebrates the anniversary of that transplant by giving back to others. In this year’s project, Shannon, now a senior at Lancaster Catholic High School, wants to bring 300 inner-city children to see a special live performance of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre on Thursday, March 27. I want to help my sister make her dream come true. I hope you will help me. My sister wants to give each child a goody bag to remember this special day. In each goody bag there will be a stuffed lion. Since our school mascot is a lion, I think we can do something about that lion. ... We are a small school but we can make a big difference.” –Christopher Lynch



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This page was last updated on: May 5, 2008.