Wellington, FL – March 16, 2013 -On Thursday, March 14, 2013, a large crowd of area dignitaries, community leaders, patients, their families and supporters attended an open house hosted by the Kids Cancer Foundation at their Cancer Center’s new location in Royal Palm Beach. The Kids Cancer Foundation is a local charity whose mission is to provide hope and support to local children and their families battling cancer.
The new Founders’ Wall at the entry of the Center caught the visitors’ attention. The wall features a distinctive sculpture of the Kids Cancer Foundation logo that was crafted and donated by local sculpture artist, Norman Gitzen. Gold ribbons engraved with the names of large and small donors to the Kids Cancer Foundation surround the metal logo sculpture and cover the wall. Additional ribbons will be added as the organization grows and strengthens with support from the community.
As the guests arrived, they were welcomed into the new Cancer Center by members of the Kids Cancer Foundation’s Advisory Council and numerous volunteers. Attendees were taken on a tour of the center and it’s various, brightly painted rooms. These rooms were filled with toys, books and entertainment designed for children of every age. The Center offers many services for children, such as tutoring, nutritional education and cooking, art therapy and serves as a place for patients and their families to come to relax and enjoy.
|Michelle O’Boyle and Roxanne Stein look on as Jennifer Reichert calls up Commissioner Jess R. Santamaria to receive Hero of the Year award.|
“We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful, new place,” said Michelle O’Boyle, founder and President of Kids Cancer Foundation. “The Cancer Center is a place designed to provide hope and support to our little warriors and their families and with this cheerful space, we truly feel like we have found a home.”
Many area businesses generously donated food for the open house festivities–Bonefish Mac’s, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Costco Wholesale, Chick-fil-A, Pei Wei Asian Diner and Johnson’s Custom Cakes. Children, who have utilized the services of the Kids Cancer Foundation, served food and appetizers at the Open House with grace and charm which clearly impressed the evening’s guest and added an especially moving touch to the event.
Michelle O’Boyle gave a short presentation expressing the impact that the Kids Cancer Foundation has had on families when the children are diagnosed with cancer. “When a child is diagnosed with cancer their carefree childhood days are quickly consumed with chemotherapy, endless doctors’ appointments and hospital visits,” she said. “This diagnosis not only affects the child, but it impacts the whole family as they struggle to fight the disease. This is where the Kids Cancer Foundation steps in to provide the families with support and to relieve them from the rigors of unending medical treatment.”
|Commissioner Jess R. Santamaria, Roxanne Stein and Sheriff Ric Bradshaw with Kids Cancer Foundation’s Board members and Advisory Council members|
Attendees watched a short and poignant video that illustrated the experiences of the children and families helped by the Foundation. Many of the families were present at the open house.
Next, Roxanne Stein, WPTV News Channel 5 news anchor, spoke and she explained her involvement as a member of the Kids Cancer Foundation Advisory Council. The Advisory Council is comprised of community leaders who funnel their knowledge and energy to help further the mission of the Foundation. Currently, the group’s primary focus is to promote the Kids Cancer Foundation Founders Campaign. This program offers area businesses and individuals an opportunity to be sustaining supporters of the Kids Cancer Foundation and its Center, and to be recognized for their support on the Founder’s wall at the Center’s entrance. Donations to the Founders Campaign will ensure that the Kids Cancer Foundation will continue to offer their vast array of services to children and families who are battling cancer in our area.
Jennifer Reichert, a 16 year old survivor of cancer shared what the Kids Cancer Foundation had meant to her and her family.
“They answer all of your questions, so that you don’t have to be scared and you know what to expect–that means a lot,” said Reichert.
|Kids Cancer Foundation Advisory Council Members|
Reichert made a special presentation to Palm Beach County Commissioner, Jess R. Santamaria, and awarded him the Foundation’s first “Hero of the Year” award in recognition of his exceptional support of the Foundation over the past year.
Commissioner Santamaria, who was obviously touched by the event, shared his thoughts with the group.
“You know, I just spent around 1/2 hour with Michelle O’Boyle, as she gave me a tour of the Center and explained everything that her organization provides to these families,” said Santamaria. And, I think there is only one word to describe this place and this event…inspired. I can see it in the look of commitment on all of your faces, here tonight. Sheriff Ric Bradshaw is in the audience, and I heard him come up to Michelle and just say, ‘Tell me what I can do to help’.”
|Mason Phelps, Phelps Media Group and Roxanne Stein, WPTV NewsChannel 5 chatting in front of Founders Wall at Kids Cancer Center open house.|
Santamaria and his family have established another charity called My Brother’s Sister’s Keeper, but he admitted that after this event, he thinks that Kids Cancer Foundation is right at the top of his list of favorite charities that meet the needs of the people in the community. In closing, Commissioner Santamaria announced that he would like to donate the office space right next to the new Cancer Center, at no charge, to allow the Kids Cancer Center to expand their services and the number of families that they can assist.
Visit the Kids Cancer Foundation website atwww.kidscancersf.org, call Michelle O’Boyle at (561)371-1298 and/or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to learn how you can help them to help these children in their battle against cancer.
|Kids Serving Food|