Bridging the Gap - Rolly Pollies Connects Daughter with Military Mom in Iraq During Birthday Party

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Rolly Pollies, Severna Park's premier children's gym and birthday party facility, went global for the first time connecting Jennifer Bonfigli, a Military Mom currently deployed to Iraq, with her daughter Halle in celebration of Halle's 4th Birthday. Jennifer, 7 hours ahead of EST, and her husband Travis arranged to "connect" via internet webcam during the Birthday Party to share in Halle's special day.

We couldn't think of a better service to offer than bringing a mother who is serving our country in Iraq together with her family in America during this special occasion.

Rolly Pollies, Severna Park's premier children's gym and birthday party facility, went global for the first time connecting Jennifer Bonfigli, a Military Mom currently deployed to Iraq, with her daughter Halle in celebration of Halle's 4th Birthday. Jennifer, 7 hours ahead of EST, and her husband Travis arranged to "connect" via internet webcam during the Birthday Party to share in Halle's special day.

Weeks earlier, Travis contacted Rolly Pollies and asked if it was possible to use his text chat and webcam on his computer in the Rolly Pollies facility during the party. "We were proud to accommodate this request," said Alison Meagher, owner of Rolly Pollies. "We couldn't think of a better service to offer than bringing a mother who is serving our country in Iraq together with her family in America during this special occasion." Rolly Pollies created a make-shift network to connect to the Internet in their party room so the family could communicate in real time. "The party was fantastic as are the Rolly Pollies staff-members who were able to help make this happen. Halle had an awesome time and I know her friends did as well." Said Dad Travis Bonfigli.    

This relatively new technology is quickly becoming the preferred method of communication among service members and is a far cry from the days when traditional mail and expensive phone calls were the norm. "When I served in the early 90's, contact with friends and loved ones at home while on deployment was expensive and sporadic. Now, with the emergence of email, satellite phones and webcams as the standard, communicating is far superior and much more routine. We hope to have more opportunities to support our troops and their families in this way." says Rolly Pollies co-founder and veteran Joseph Dondero.

The Severna Park, MD based Rolly Pollies franchise is known for its purpose-driven curriculums in fitness, music, and art, as well as birthday parties and camps for children ages six months to six years. Rolly Pollies and Rolly Pollies International, the Franchise corporation, were founded by U.S. Naval Academy graduates Joe Dondero and John Mann.

The company also reaches out to the veteran community as part of VetFran, an initiative run by the International Franchise Association, which has helped more than 600 veterans in 48 states become franchised small business owners.

Rolly Pollies has franchises in Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina and South Carolina, and more locations are slated to open in 2008.

Editor's Note: JPEGs available upon request. For more information on Rolly Pollies, visit the company's Web site at http://www.rollypollies.com.

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John Mann

Alson Meagher