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Fight disease with Nerf

Andy Moy, with his brace of Nerf dart guns, hosts a Nerf War to fight juvenile arthritis. Photo by Phil Custodio (click for larger version)
February 02, 2011 - Twelve-year-old Andy Moy is at war with juvenile arthritis. He takes to the field with family and friends, March 5, armed with the latest in Nerf.

"The fund raiser will be awesome," said Moy of Waterford, who has had the chronic inflammatory disease since he was 5. "It will be so much fun. I can't wait!"

He and his family plan a Nerf War, 2:30-4:30 p.m., Saturday, March 5, at Stars and Stripes Kids Activity Center, 4630 White Lake Road in Independence Township.

Proceeds from the Nerf War will benefit his team at Arthritis Foundation, Michigan Chapter's Arthritis Walk this May at the Detroit Zoo.

"We walk every year," said Jaime Moy, his mother. "For this fund raiser, we wanted something more suited to Andy. He loves Nerf."

"It's fun – when you're hit, it doesn't hurt as much as anything else," Andy said.

Nerf War is a new idea for fund raisers Jaime found on the Internet.

"We'll be the guinea pigs," she said. "It should be lots of fun."

So far, about 20 officially registered, and many others are interested. Commercial donations include a gift card from Best Buy to give away as a prize, and Stars and Stripes, she said.

"We wanted someplace indoors because of the weather," Jaime said. "At a gymnastics center, we can use mats as barriers. It was the best in the area for what we needed – they've been very receptive and excited about it."

Brian Foster, business manager for Stars and Stripes, said he offered the 12,500-square-foot facility because the fund raiser fits with the company's goals.

"We pride ourselves on being the industry leader in kid-based activities," Foster said. "Our mission has always been to build self-esteem, strength and dreams."

Participants need to bring their own Nerf gun, 35 soft darts, and protective eyewear.

Admission is $10 per person. There will be both competitive and fun play for ages 4 to adult, with game play divided up into age brackets for safety. Rules and registration information are online at www.walkwithandy.com/nerf.

Juvenile psoriatic arthritis affects nearly 10,300 children in Michigan. For more information on the Arthritis Foundation, call 248-649-2891. For information on Stars and Stripes, call Foster at 248-625-3547.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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