Today, The Hill, a top US political website, published an op-ed article written by CKc Executive Director Melissa Wiggins to help educate and urge policymakers to increase federal funding for pediatric cancer research. Melissa, along with CKc Education Director Kelly King, is meeting with several key policymakers in Washington D.C. this week to coincide with a key House hearing on the FY2019 National Institute of Health (NIH) budget. A key pillar of our mission is to educate for change… we are honored to reach such an influential audience via The Hill.
I want to thank everyone who made the CKc Gold Gala the best we have ever had! We raised MORE money and educated MORE people than EVER.
I’ve been saying “Go Big or Go Home” since our inception! It’s a motto that runs deep in our team and in our mission. In fact, we have a sign as you walk into CKc headquarters that says just that! So, when we set our goal for the gala, it may have seemed most unrealistic for a three-year-old foundation to set its sights on raising a half million dollars IN ONE NIGHT but to us, to my team, well it’s motivation, it drives us, it pushes us to our limits and, frankly, that’s what the pediatric cancer world needs. Half measures avail us nothing, and half measures we don’t do!
We didn’t make our goal, but I am here to say that’s okay!!! CKc doesn’t give up! We don’t lay down! We pull our bootstraps up and get right back to work! In the words of Rory Vaden, “Success is never owned, it’s only rented; and the rent is due every day.” Yes!!!
I realize that being $75,000 short of our goal means four researchers will be funded, and not five. Fifteen fewer kids will get on trials. That, my friends, is the gut-wrenching part for this Scottish lassy! I’m the proudest Mumma Bear ever of my team, but to say my heart doesn’t ache a little for these kids battling to live would be a lie. And, frankly, honesty is how we roll here!
For those of you at the event, I am aware there was a little confusion with the “open ask” at the end of the night. So, please know this is not an ungrateful plea, but a heartfelt one. If you wished to donate on Saturday and weren’t able to do so, please donate by following this link. As difficult and uncomfortable as it is to ask for money, I know it’s more difficult to attend a child’s funeral and watch friends bury their babies – both of which I’ve personally done. So, I am pleading with you – if you’re able to donate $10 or $10,000 to help us fund the fifth and final researcher and give those 15 more kids a chance, then please help us reach our goal!
I want to thank everyone for attending, for being open to being educated about the reality of pediatric cancer, and for donating with such open and generous hearts. I was blown away on Saturday by the love you showed CKc and by your desire to learn more about the reality of pediatric cancer.
Please watch this video of Tony King speaking at the gala. Brutal! Devastating! Unimaginable! But, sadly, a reality.
Feel free to email me at Melissa.Wiggins@cannonballkidscancer.org with any feedback about our gala! We want to improve each year and grow so we can get more kids on trials and create more options for those who have none! Thank you for being a part of changing the status quo of pediatric cancer.
We have exciting news to share! This morning, Cannonball Kids’ cancer had an amazing opportunity to compete in the Victory Cup Initiative in Orlando. Think of it like the “Shark Tank” for non-profits! We were blessed to named as the winner and the recipient of a $20,000 reward! Twenty thousand dollars which will go directly into funding innovative, accessible research for children fighting cancer!
CKc was selected as a Top 10 Finalist out of more than 100 applicants for this prestigious competition. I had the honor of representing CKc and delivering the required 2 minute, 30 second mission-based pitch in front of a sold out audience of more than 500 philanthropists.
I am beyond thrilled! Last year, we weren’t even able to apply, so to be selected as a finalist in our first year and then chosen as the winner, it is a really big deal for us. But, what I am even more proud of is what we have accomplished TOGETHER! Even if you weren’t in the audience, a piece of you was there in spirit today because we wouldn’t even be at this level without your support, your donations, your volunteer hours and your encouragement! I was able to share an incredible message that we are now impacting the lives of 60 children and creating options where there were none! Today’s competition was another big step forward in educating for change and gaining support that will enable us to truly change the status quo of pediatric cancer treatments FOREVER!!
We wanted you, our donors, supporters and biggest fans to hear this fantastic news right away! Without you, none of this would be possible.
Thank you for your belief in us and for allowing us to do what we do best – fund innovative, accessible research and provide options for children fighting cancer.
With much gratitude,
Founder | Executive Director
Cannonball Kids’ cancer
About The Victory Cup Initiative:
The event is a platform where companies come together for philanthropic investing with a twist. This unique event is designed to provide a high-profile opportunity for charitable organizations to tell their stories, build their strategies and partner with business and community leaders to make a difference in Central Florida.
During this breakfast event, 10 of Central Florida’s top nonprofits present a 2 minute, 30-second pitch on who they are, how they are changing lives and how they are serving the community to a room of philanthropists who will vote to determine the winner of the $20,000 grand prize. Organizations will also compete for second ($15,000) and third place ($10,000) financial awards. All remaining organizations will be awarded a $1,000 participation grant.
CANNONBALL KIDS' CANCER FOUNDATION, POST OFFICE BOX 547797 ORLANDO, FL 32854 (321) 325-5392 INFO@CANNONBALLKIDSCANCER.ORG
CANNONBALL KIDS' CANCER FOUNDATION IS A 501(c)(3) NON-PROFIT COMMUNITY SERVICE ORGANIZATION. CANNONBALL KIDS' CANCER FOUNDATION'S REGISTRATION NUMBER IS CH41586. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE, 1-800-435-7352 WITHIN THE STATE OF FLORIDA OR BY VISITING www.800helpfla.com. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.