Windsor, N.J. -- During a recent performance at the Camp College
Variety Show at Mercer County Community College, young jugglers
impressed their fellow campers as they juggled beanbags, balanced
devil sticks, tossed rings and spun objects in the air. Their
newly acquired skills are the result of "Juggling Workshop,"
a Camp College class taught by Louis De Lauro, a fifth grade
teacher at John P. Faber School in Dunellen. De Lauro founded
the juggling program at Camp College over 20 years ago and
has returned to the MCCC campus this summer after working
at several other camps in recent years.
De Lauro is also the founder and president of the nonprofit
organization, Juggling Life Inc., which takes its juggling
act on the road all year long. Student volunteers present
workshops and performances for children with cancer and chronic
illnesses, as well as homeless children. De Lauro hopes many
of his young MCCC jugglers will one day volunteer for Juggling
On July 14, Camp College hosted a bake sale that raised more
than $450 for the organization, which will help cover insurance,
equipment and travel costs. Said Camp College teacher Jenna
Mihalow, who assisted with the bake sale, "There are
so many ill and disadvantaged children. We want to do all
we can to help."
De Lauro, who started Juggling Life as a club at the Faber
School in 2004, recalls one of the group's
many rewarding hospital visits. "Explaining our mission
to a nurse once, I told her that we can't cure cancer, but
we aim to bring smiles to patients' faces. She said to me,
'With all the happiness you bring, for a few minutes, everyone
is cancer-free.' Our goal is to help kids and have some fun."
At the end of July, Juggling Life will perform at HomeFront,
a non-profit agency in Lawrenceville that provides a comprehensive
network of services for the poor and homeless in Mercer County.
Twice featured on Good Morning America, Juggling Life
volunteers include dedicated youngsters and teens, as well
as college students and grads. De Lauro himself learned to
juggle at age 14 with friends at Lawrence High School. They
often performed at community events and art festivals.
After attending MCCC and then Rider University, where he earned
his bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and American
Studies, De Lauro was inspired to recreate his juggling act
following a trip to a Ronald McDonald Camp in Greeley, Pa.,
where his parents volunteered. The rest is history.
"I think every youngster likes to juggle," De Lauro
says. He hopes to make Juggling Life a national charity that
will travel around the world. "Juggling involves a lot
of hand-eye coordination, but it's not only about that. It
also builds self-confidence. We hope to get more Mercer area
kids on board."
For more information on Juggling Life, click here.
left, Victoria Zangrilli, Max Irvin, Madison Roberts, Sean
Wright (back), Luke Watson, Brittney Signore and Matthew Jean-Mary