huggingheartIn their first-ever charity event on a cold and dreary November day this past weekend, Headstands for Humanity (H4H) put on a widely successful community event that drew all kinds of inverted participants, yet came up a bit short in their bid to break the Guinness World Record for “most people doing headstands simultaneously in one place” at Holiday Valley Resort.

With the record sitting idle at 265 people, 196 headstanders and friends arrived with full intentions of going down in the record books, but fell short of their sights by about 100 participants needed to have a legitimate chance at the mark. The drizzly day did not dampen the vibe or the spirits of all who attended, as was easily seen by the all the smiling faces and the positive feeling that was evident.

There were fire trucks, TV and newspapers, a DJ, food, hosts of volunteers and sponsors, photos, and FUN involving all who attended. Donations/pledges were also graciously given by all participants and many event goers to our event beneficiaries — the Lounsbury Adaptive Ski/Board Program at Holiday Valley and the EVGV Trail Fund. Overall, it was extraordinarily fun and positive and quite different to experience and witness, and it is surely to grow in scope for the next attempt at the record in 2014.

H4H has announced next year’s event date to be Oct. 4, 2014, at Holiday Valley Resort, so mark it on your calendars.

Mike Paterniti, H4H founder and event organizer, said, “The design of the event is to always be during the school year, so as to get more children and youth involved with their schools in the region through pre-approved school fundraising pledge drives and to make it a  school-sanctioned event. Kids are what the event is all about, and from what we saw Saturday, this is so true. Youths between the ages of 5 and 15 made up over half of the event participants and it was so good to see all the adults as their inner child again!”

Two of the many inspirational stories included the Bradford Flames Gymnastics Team, who brought a bus of 55 gymnasts and five coaches, and raised over $800, after paying for their own bus with a portion of the pledge money they raised only one week before the event! Also, local friend and barber, Jonny Barber, not only was a $100 business sponsor, but also raised another $130 dollars in pledges, as well! Holiday Valley and H4H will be giving a prize for both of these amazing efforts and showing of support. Each participant was given a complimentary H4H T-shirt and original H4H headstand pads for their show of support.

Preliminary numbers have the event grossing nearly $4,000, yet there was nearly $2,000 in expenses, largely due to the inability to find a T-shirt sponsor. That leaves approximately $2,000 (and growing) to disperse among the designated charities! This will officially be tallied, announced and given to the beneficiaries next week.

H4H headstand pads ($5) and T-shirts ($10) in sizes L, XL and 2XL, are also being sold to raise the overall donation totals. Call Mike Paterniti at (814) 558-0251 or email him at to get yours today!

In case you missed your chance to be there and would still like to contribute to these worthy causes, donations are still being accepted for the event’s charities until Sunday, Nov. 10 at midnight. To donate, just go to or send a check to: Mike Paterniti/H4H, 116 Congress St., Box 30, Bradford, PA 16701.

H4H would like to give a special thank you to all the sponsors and wonderful souls from the town and village of Ellicottville and the surrounding area who helped make this day possible and so much FUN!

Holiday Valley Resort, The City Garage, EVL Wine and Spirits, Peters and Moriarty, Burger King, Daff Dry Goods, Jonny Barber, Patty’s People Pictures, Balloons, The Depot, Lorne Hart – Graphics/DJ, Ready Image Photo, The Boardroom, Ellicottville Brewing Company, Marketing Bacon, Tim Hortons, Centerplate, Ellicottville Fire Department, Mud, Sweat N Gears, CUTCO, EVL Tease and Oasis Day Spa.

Thank you all the H4H dedicated volunteers!

Ashley Baron – Video, Pat Morgan & the 4278 Parks Crew, William Bacon – Photography, Patty’s People Pictures, John Burrell – Official Witness, the many friends of H4H, Kathleen Moriarty – Official Witness, Centerplate, Doug Bush – Official Timekeeper, Katie D and the Inn at Holiday Valley, Kent Joesel – Official Timekeeper, Steve Crowley – Holiday Valley Mountain Operations, Mark Watson – Photographer and Terry Decker – Ski Patrol.