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Heart Warming

Kandace McLaughlin, for HealthLeaders Media, February 6, 2008
A nonprofit foundation's 5th annual fundraising event is sure to warm some hearts and some hands this month. An affiliate of Children's Memorial Hospital and Comer Children's Hospital at the University of Chicago, the Little Heroes Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (formerly know as Friends For Steven Pediatric Cancer Foundation), which is run by parents of children battling neuroblastoma, has raised more than $1.25 million for cancer research.

"We're hoping to raise $200,000 at this year's event," says Raymond Asher, president of Little Heroes.

However, after rebranding the foundation with a new name and logo, the members of the foundation decided that they needed their winter event to have a theme that corresponded with the new name and look. The event they chose, "Cold Hands, Warm Hearts," features an icon of red mittens with hearts on them; the image was also used for their invitations and event collateral. To complete the overall theme, pairs of mittens containing raffle tickets will be on sale at the event for $5.

"We decided that anyone who is going to come out in Chicago's recent subzero weather for this event has their heart in the right place," says Asher.

What makes the event truly unique is the sponsorship and support it has been able to achieve. Chicago Blackhawks President John McDonough is acting as the event's host and the National Hockey League Players' Association has also donated signed jerseys for auction in support of the event as well. Other sponsors include Clear Channel and Comcast, among several others.

According to Asher, fundraising for the cause is an uphill battle but the overall benefits are worth the frustration. "The funds we raise benefit organizations outside of Chicago too, but we're hoping that this year's funds will go towards creating an MIBG (Meta-Iodo-Benzyl-Guanidine) unit in Chicago." Currently patients have to leave Chicago for that treatment. "We would love to be able to give our kids the same chances for a long life," says Asher.

More information on the event can be found on the foundation Web site, www.littleheroes.us.


Kandace McLaughlin is an editor with HealthLeaders magazine. Send her Campaign Spotlight ideas at kmclaughlin@healthleadersmedia.com If you are a marketer submitting a campaign on behalf of your facility or client, please ensure you have permission before doing so.