On August 12th, 2023, The Strand in Hermosa Beach was aglow with bikers, roller bladers and giggling neon face painted friends decked out with glowing accessories in support of Claire’s Place Foundation’s Glow Ride for Cystic Fibrosis. Glowing brightly was Brookelyn Hardy, a 14 year old fundraising phenom, who formed and led her team #ClaireStrong, to raise a staggering $13,017 for the Glow Ride. Even at her young age, Brookelyn’s fervent commitment showcases the profound impact one person can have on a community. Her example moves us.
The annual Glow Ride event is organized by Claire’s Place Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization that supports families affected by cystic fibrosis. Funds raised go to their “Extended Hospital Stay Grant Program”. This program offers financial support to families with a loved one hospitalized for 14 consecutive days or more.
What moved Brookelyn to support the Glow Ride?
At a tender age of 12, Brookelyn was introduced to the Glow Ride by her father and NorthStar Moving. The compelling YouTube messages from Claire Wineland, who was only 13 years old when she began Claire’s Place Foundation, deeply resonated with Brookelyn. Inspired to create positive change in her community, she began working closely with Claire’s Place Foundation. After three years participating in the Glow Ride, this unique event holds a special place in Brookelyn’s heart. Beyond the festive atmosphere, shimmering glow accessories and the company of friends and family, Brookelyn cherishes the united spirit of the community working towards a common goal.
When asked about working with Brookelyn on the Glow Ride, Melissa Yeager, executive director of Claire’s Place Foundation said, “At her young age, I am very impressed by Brookelyn’s level of maturity and her exceptional follow through. She epitomizes the vision that Claire had when she started the Glow Ride as a way to inspire youth to get involved in community service all while enjoying a fun and exciting event. We have had the pleasure of watching her surpass her fundraising goals year over year since 2021 and are so grateful for her support.”
Brookelyn also shines as an athlete with her soccer team the LA Breakers and on the Sunshine Volleyball Club. However, it’s her profound commitment to her community that truly defines her. From her earliest memories, she has aspired to become a doctor — more precisely, a surgeon — to directly impact and aid her community. Her parents have helped instill a vital truth in her: reaching out and giving back to those in need is what truly enriches. Although only in 9th grade, Brookelyn is already making an impact on her community and on those around her.
What does it take to spark change?
Brookelyn proves you don’t need to go viral to inspire. Initially, she began fundraising by sharing her passion with her inner circle and urging them to do the same. Her zeal became infectious and set off a ripple effect. Additionally, she crafted personalized videos to connect with specific individuals. Brookelyn showed remarkable initiative by revisiting past donors and motivating them to contribute once more. As a result, Brookelyn and her team #ClaireStrong successfully raised a total of $13,017 for Claire’s Place Foundation. We can follow her lead. Find a cause that resonates with you and introduce it to your loved ones. As your commitment grows, motivate your friends and family to spread the word. Use any platform you have to get others involved. Stay the course and remain steadfast. Brookelyn’s journey might just inspire you to jump start your own philanthropic adventure!