Hannah’s Hope is an organization founded by Mike and Mary Martinez to raise money that helps families with disabled children up to age three. All of the money made by Hannah’s Hope is passed on to First Steps, a statewide foundation that helps families pay for special therapies and other medical expenses for their children.
Mike Martinez, who is the public address announcer for Indians basketball and football games, came up with the idea for Hannah’s Hope shortly after his now 20-month-old daughter, Hannah, was born. It has already raised over $20,000 in just a year’s time.
“Hannah doesn’t actually have a disease or an official diagnosis,” he said. “What the doctors have gathered is that she had a prenatal stroke"
Mike Martinez called his family blessed because they have insurance that will pay for Hannah’s therapy. The proceeds from all fundraisers put on by the organization go towards helping less fortunate families who do not have that kind of insurance.
“Having kids with disabilities gets costly with therapies and sacrifices you have to make as a family. You do whatever you have to do for your kid,” Martinez said. “If it means you don’t drive the exact car you want or live in the exact house you want, so be it. The health of your child is first and foremost and we do what we can.”
Portage High School student-athlete Carly Bermes has stepped up to increase awareness around the school and community for this worthwhile cause.
“I have purple bracelets that say Hannah’s Hope on them. They are $2 and all of that money goes into an account,” Bermes, a three sport athlete, said.
Mike Martinez is very appreciative of people like Bermes, who aid his charitable efforts.
“Carly Bermes is a very, very special person. She thinks rarely of herself. It means the world to me that people care. This is a huge thing for me,” he said.
“It’s not just Carly. It’s everyone that has stepped up to purchase a bracelet that has made a difference. On behalf of Hannah, I would like to thank everyone at PHS for all their support. All the thoughts and prayers help our family make it day by day."
The challenges of having a child with a disability will drain any parent. However, Martinez has the ability to roll with the punches and still think of others. He encourages involvement from anyone who wants to help out. Events put on by Hannah’s Hope last year included a golf outing and a vendor/craft fair. For more information, visit hannahshope.org.