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Palisades debuts Rainbow Connection Kermit

Long-awaited Kermit and Robin action figures arrive

Courtesy of Palisades Toys
July 9, 2005

Palisades Toys is proud to announce that the highly-anticipated Rainbow Connection Kermit action figure is now available via Palisades Direct.

Rainbow Connection Kermit is being released in conjunction with The Cooper Perry Fund, and 100% of the profits from this item will be donated to The Cooper Perry Fund, A special Project of The Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation. The Cooper Perry Fund directly supports The Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Neuro-Protection Research Fund. That specific group is funding research on Brain Trauma specifically. An allotment of the Rainbow Connection Kermit figures will be available to San Diego Comic Con attendees. The special, exclusive figure will be sold for $25 each.

Palisades Sesame Action Figures

 

For more information regarding the Cooper Perry Fund and the connection between Cooper Perry, The Rainbow Connection, and Palisades Toys, please read the following letter from Palisades President and CEO, Michael Horn.

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your interest in the Rainbow Connection Kermit Action Figure benefiting the Cooper Perry Fund. I’d like to offer an explanation of the Fund and the connection to Palisades and the Rainbow Connection.

Every so often, something happens in your life to give you perspective and to re-prioritize just what’s important. One of those events happened to me in the summer of 2004.

Cooper Perry, just a few months shy of his third birthday, came down with a sudden and severe case of Meningitis in August of 2004. He started out with a simple fever, not even particularly high. Those of you who have children (of your own or siblings, nephews, nieces, cousins, etc.) know that slight fevers are pretty regular at this age. This one was pretty routine. His parents, two of my closest friends, did what all good parents do. They took him to the pediatrician, who diagnosed a slight fever and recommended some Tylenol, some fluids, and rest. That was Thursday.

The next day, Friday, he got worse, so they took him to the emergency room. Later that day, he was diagnosed with Meningitis. His condition dramatically worsened overnight and into Saturday. Early Sunday morning, he was helicoptered from his home town of Naples, Florida to Miami Children’s Hospital, a regional specialist hospital in brain trauma. But by then it was beyond hope. His Meningitis had developed into Encephalitis and he was pretty much on life support.

My wife and I got calls on Sunday and Monday and took off for Miami on Tuesday. There was a tiny bit of hope for Cooper, but we were there really for his parents, our friends. We spent the next two days holed up in that hospital, crying, laughing, hugging, planning, talking, living.

On Thursday, it was all over.

Just one week earlier, the same kid was swimming in the pool and suddenly we were all discussing his Memorial Service.

My point in sharing all of this is two-fold. First, it’s always been my style to talk (in this case write) about painful situations as a way to deal with them. So, indulge me a bit in my healing. The second, and more important, is to continue to build awareness for the Cooper Perry Fund. I made a personal commitment to Cooper and to his parents that I would spearhead the building of this fund.

One of the most frustrating aspects of the entire experience was the fact that the doctors don’t know how to stabilize and protect the brain during trauma. That is, they can get the heart pumping with medication or machines; same with lungs, and kidneys, but they don’t know how to protect the brain. Since Cooper had a virus, there was no cure, but if they could have protected his brain while the virus ran its course, he would be with us still today. And not only with us, but with us as he was a few weeks ago (more than 70% of Viral Meningitis cases result in recovery, but with brain damage).

The Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation is doing a lot of intensive research on this exact situation. They don’t know why this case was so deadly to Cooper. They also want to know how to prevent others in the future from enduring this.

Coop was such a loving, generous child that I know he would want to help (even at 3 years old, he definitely understood the concept of generosity. He was always a great sharer). So, why the Rainbow Connection Kermit? On that Thursday morning, the four of us gathered around Cooper’s bed. None of us had any misconceptions of what would happen that day. We entered his room one at a time over about a 15-minute period. Once we had all gotten together, an enormous full rainbow appeared directly outside of the window. One of those really bright ones that you can see both ends. It really felt like Cooper was communicating with us and I will always feel that that is exactly what it was.

Two weeks later, the Perry family was holding a memorial service at their adopted home in Naples and the church musician asked them if they had a musical preference. They really didn’t, so they suggested that he select one of his own. He played an acoustic guitar rendition of “The Rainbow Connection.”

Never in our history have we had a product idea that was so obvious.

The Rainbow Connection Kermit will be available beginning today at Palisades’ online store – 100% of the profits from this piece will go to The Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Neuro-Protection Research Fund.

Best,

Michael Horn
President and CEO
Palisades Entertainment, LLC

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