L.A. PARKER: ‘Plant a Seed, Inspire a Dream’

This is a column about dreams and free money.

I know, momma told you not to come (whoops, that’s a Three Dog Night reference).

Momma probably told you that nothing’s free, but keep reading and you will realize that Michele and Gene Rice are offering about as complimentary a gift as ever created.

The Rices are making dreams come true through their “Plant a Seed, Inspire a Dream” foundation, which provides financially challenged people between the ages of 8 and 21 with an opportunity to pursue their passions while interacting with positive role models.

Want to be a dancer? Call Michele. Basketball player? Phone Gene. Play the piano? Contact the foundation.

Michele and Gene are sowing seeds as clients line up for a chance to chase life aspirations.

The Bucks County pair and supporters have helped more than 50 starry-eyed dreamers and have launched a search for more.

More than 200 supporters showed for a late-February fundraiser at Jericho National Golf Club in New Hope, Pa.

Michele Rice smiled throughout while her husband Gene worked the room for guests interested in participating in a silent auction that ratcheted up a Foundation bank account balance.

More money for miracles.

“Our organization is having an impact with kids in our own back yard, Philadelphia, Trenton, Scranton, and as far away as Boston,” Gene Rice said.

“A couple of years ago we asked you to believe in a charity built around the fact that we were parents with children who had dreams, kids who looked forward to participating in things like music, sports and other activities on a weekly basis. We knew that those activities built self-esteem, gave them a social network of like-minded kids, gave them something to look forward to even on a bad day.”

Rice recognized that many of his foundation’s clients reside in single-parent homes challenged by insufficient incomes and lack of continuous support.

“That is what our organization is about, giving kids a chance and connecting those children with a role model who can help cultivate their passion,” he explained.

Two years ago, Michele and Gene Rice contacted me and requested help in a circulation of opportunities available for Trenton-area children.

In typical Trenton fashion, apathy overwhelmed opportunity as no city residents responded.

Undaunted, Michele and Gene Rice have made another attempt to give a chance to a deserving person who may foster a dream.

“The charity is based around a premise that if kids are passionate about something, that passion will build their self-esteem. There are a lot of kids that need some help,” Gene Rice said.

Applying for a scholarship remains an easy task. Just log ontowww.plantaseedfoundation.org.

Yeah, a lot of people profess that nothing grows in Trenton, but Gene, Michele and I hold out hope for little miracles, moments of clarity that highlight passion and promise.

Take a moment today and think about a worthy young person who deserves a shot at life, someone who needs just a modicum of support for his or her dream to take hold.

Major ups for Gene, Michele and the Rice family, plus, Foundation supporters for their understanding that much is required to whom much is given.

Your generosity, care for others, and desire to inspire youth is a wonderful expression that showers our world with love.

L.A. Parker is a Trentonian columnist and staff writer. His column appears on Tuesday and Thursday. Reach him atlaparker@Trentonian.com.