I am holding a baked goods “suggested donation event” on Sat., Oct 1 in Washington Square Park to raise money for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. I need your help!
***FYI: I cannot call is a “sale” as then I’d need to get a vendor permit and food inspection from Parks and Rec (not the TV show) in addition to the space/congregation permit I had to get. We’re going to abbreviate this event as baked goodness SDE, ok?
If you weren’t aware, September is pediatric cancer awareness month. I’ve always wanted to raise money for pediatric cancer research (besides donating my 7 year old allowance/”savings” to Children’s Hospital of Alabama), especially considering I had a brother who died of neuroblastoma in 1991 as well as a best friend’s sister who died of brain cancer in 2003. September will be upon us soon and I want to send out the month (ie Oct 1) with a nice fat donation to support pediatric cancer research.
Luckily for me, I’ve happened upon a charity that I am passionate about raising money for, Cookies for Kid’s Cancer. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer was started by Gretchen and Larry Witt after their son, Liam, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. Liam was best friends with one of my babysitting “kids,” who I’ll call T. T often told me that she and Liam were going to be married. From what T told me about Liam, he was an extraordinary little boy. (T is also an extraordinary little girl.)
Many of Liam’s potential treatments (eg: a monoclononal antibody for all my med school friends) weren’t available for use at that time due to lack of funding. As you can imagine, in the current economic climate government funding for research has dwindled making non-profits, such as Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, essential in footing the bill for researchers. What started as a Christmas bake sale to raise money has turned into a charity that has done enormous amounts of good and contributed much to the field of pediatric cancer research. In its short history, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has raised $2.5 million dollars for pediatric cancer research.
[*a quick add-on note: When Gretchen did the first bake sale, Liam was actually cancer free. She did it because “she knew it was the right thing to do for all the other kids”*]
The Witts’ unwavering dedication to raise money for pediatric cancer research is most inspiring. Further, I know exactly where the money I raise is going – directly to the hands of researchers working to create more effective and less toxic chemotherapy treatments for children. Most recently, grants from Cookies For Kids Cancer have been awarded to laboratories at Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania and Baylor College of Medicine.
Unfortunately, Liam lost his fight with cancer this past year (January 24, the day before my birthday, actually) as so many kids do each year. Despite tremendous progress over the past decade in cancer treatments, pediatric cancer remains the number 1 cause of non-accidental death in children. Additionally, neuroblastoma, which claimed the lives of both my brother and Liam, remains one of the most lethal and aggressive forms of pediatric cancer.
If you’re interested and/or have the time, here’s how you can help me help Cookies For Kids’ Cancer!
- BAKE! It doesn’t have to be cookies, you can bake whatever you want. Brownies. Cupcakes. Rice Krispie Treats. ***If you are able to bake anything gluten-free or vegan, please do. I’ve been tipped off that these are very frequently requested.
- ENCOURAGE SUGGESTED DONATIONS! Come spend your Saturday afternoon in Washington Square Park! I’ll be exchanging baked goods for suggested donations from 1-4 pm and added an hour on each side for set-up/clean-up (so 12-5 pm total). You do not need to be there for the whole time, obviously. Anything is appreciated.
- TABLES! I need tables. Do you have tables you’ve been using for beer pong? Let’s put those to good use…
- ARE YOU AN ARTIST? If so, you can help me makes signs and such. Arts and crafts is fun!
- TELL YOUR FRIENDS! I NEED ALL THE HELP I CAN GET. So, tell your nice friends, your baking friends, your marketing friends, your facebook friends you don’t actually know, your imaginary friends…
- DONATE HERE: If you aren’t able to do any of the above, but still want to help, you can donate via the link (“donate here”) or copy and paste the below into your browser: (fyi: my goal is 260.02 because I’m running a marathon and I had to come up with a number, so I picked that one. Any donations are greatly, greatly, appreciated):
If you’re interested in learning more about this charity, check out their website:
If you want a good cry, go to Liam’s blog or vimeo page (similar to youtube):
[MAKE SURE YOU HAVE KLEENEX NEARBY IF YOU WATCH ANY VIDEOS. I HAVE YET TO MAKE IT THROUGH ONE WITHOUT SOAKING MY SHIRT IN TEARS.]
I truly believe it is some sort of divine intervention that brought myself and the Witt family into contact, considering our families have both been affected by the same evil cancer dragon, neuroblastoma. Prince Liam couldn’t slay his dragon, but I hope by raising some money, I’ll be able to help other kids slay their cancer monsters. This charity truly tugs at my heart and I hope you’ll be able to help me make a difference.
If you want to help, you can comment below or shoot met an email at MeggieBSmith@gmail.com.