Animal Adventure Park Hosts Ava\'s Little Heroes Benefit

Ava's Little Heroes returns Saturday. Katie Sullivan / Staff Video

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Colleen Patch, of Conklin, kisses her 7-month-old daughter, Ava, during Ava's Little Heroes benefit at Animal Adventure in Harpursville on Sunday, August 14, 2016.(Photo: Thomas La Barbera / Correspondent Photo)Buy Photo

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Last year, a crowd of excited children, their parents and friends gathered at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, united in support for a family they didn't know, but whose story reminded them of one they did.

That June, Jordan and Colleen Patch, of Conklin, announced their plan to host a fundraiser at the park to benefit a local family whose child has endured a health crisis.

The event was Ava's Little Heroes, and it returns on Saturday for its second installment.

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Ava Patch, the event’s namesake and daughter of the Patch family, suffers from a rare form of epilepsy called Aicardi Syndrome and experiences daily seizures.

Her fight generated support for the Patches from the community and beyond, as Jordan Patch said many reached out to the new parents on social media upon hearing their story, offering their support, sharing their own stories and visiting the park.

img itemprop="url" src="https://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/f56bcbef187834de7c936bea4be3edd9b7363ff8/c=167-0-3145-2239&r=x408&c=540x405/local/-/media/2016/08/14/CNYGroup/Binghamton/636068076584904035-BGM-Ava-Heroes-2.jpg" alt="Patricia Bello, of Endicott, and her 1-month-old son," width="540" height="405" data-mycapture-src="http://www.gannett-cdn.com/media/2016/08/14/CNYGroup/Binghamton/636068076584904035-BGM-Ava-Heroes-2.jpg" data-mycapture-sm-src="http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/a57cb87523081f89514984f1cf4f0c13e0b2f571/r=500x338/local/-/media/2016/08/14/CNYGroup/Binghamton/636068076584904035-BGM-Ava-Heroes-2.jpg"">>Buy Photo

Patricia Bello, of Endicott, and her 1-month-old son, Brayden, during Ava's Little Heroes benefit Aug. 14 at Animal Adventure in Harpursville. (Photo: Thomas La Barbera / Correspondent Photo)

“My family and I will never be able to thank this community enough for the love and support they showed us when our Ava needed it most,” Jordan Patch said in a statement. “We were inspired to pay it forward, and use this positive energy to alleviate the pressures of medical bills and travel expenses for families whose children are fighting serious medical battles.”

img itemprop="url" src="https://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/ac832c9cb97ef802914280714e07ff7b77c8d9f1/c=343-0-2999-1997&r=x408&c=540x405/local/-/media/2017/05/22/CNYGroup/Binghamton/636310701975046431-BGMBrd-05-02-2017-Daily-1-A003--2017-05-01-IMG-20170417-BGM-April-1-1-EVI8BUU3-L1021169516-IMG-20170417-BGM-April-1-1-EVI8BUU3.jpg" alt="April the giraffe's calf, Tajiri, resides at Animal" width="540" height="405" data-mycapture-src="https://www.gannett-cdn.com/media/2017/05/22/CNYGroup/Binghamton/636310701975046431-BGMBrd-05-02-2017-Daily-1-A003--2017-05-01-IMG-20170417-BGM-April-1-1-EVI8BUU3-L1021169516-IMG-20170417-BGM-April-1-1-EVI8BUU3.jpg" data-mycapture-sm-src="https://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/521cd80a4fb9f1f1edf37d025629b379daee5bba/r=500x332/local/-/media/2017/05/22/CNYGroup/Binghamton/636310701975046431-BGMBrd-05-02-2017-Daily-1-A003--2017-05-01-IMG-20170417-BGM-April-1-1-EVI8BUU3-L1021169516-IMG-20170417-BGM-April-1-1-EVI8BUU3.jpg"">>Buy Photo

April the giraffe's calf, Tajiri, resides at Animal Adventure Park. (Photo: Andrew Thayer / Staff photo)

As Animal Adventure has grown exponentially this year with the worldwide fame of its giraffe calf, Tajiri, so has the scope of this fundraiser.

In 2016, Ava's Little Heroes raised $10,000 for the Bello family, of Endicott, whose infant son, Brayden, suffered from complications of a brain bleed.

This year, proceeds from Ava's Little Heroes will be donated to five families.

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Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville will welcome heroes of all sizes as the park hosts Ava's Little Heroes, a benefit for a local family struggling with their child's health issues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Andrew Thayer / Staff Video

On Saturday, prize auctions, children's activities, live music, vendors and a chance to get up close with the park's menagerie of animals await those guests who attend the event in support of the families of Ruby, Zoey, Gideon, Phatar and Mackenzie Mae, children from across the region — who range in age from 1 to 11 — whose families have felt the financial burden of medical bills and travel expenses build with their respective health battles.

Click here to support Ava's Little Heroes organized by Colleen Patch

Guests are encouraged to dress up as heroes for the occasion — capes, crowns, scrubs and jerseys are welcome.

Half the admission, all of the raffle earnings, sponsorship and vendor fees will be directed to the families.

Can't make it to the park on Saturday? A GoFundMe page has been set up for donations. As of Tuesday afternoon, $16,000 had already been raised.

Follow Katie Sullivan on Twitter @ByKatieSullivan.

If you go

What: Ava's Little Heroes benefit

Where: Animal Adventure Park, 85 Martin Hill Road, Harpursville

When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday

Cost: $11-$13

More information: theanimaladventurepark.com

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Source : http://www.pressconnects.com/story/news/connections/2017/08/08/avas-little-heroes-grows-animal-adventure/548833001/

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Animal Adventure Park Hosts Ava\'s Little Heroes Benefit

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Animal Adventure Park Hosts Ava\'s Little Heroes Benefit

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Animal Adventure Park Hosts Ava\'s Little Heroes Benefit