by Sue Ratcliff, Area Director
Pinky Swear Foundation
Pinky Swear Foundation is all about “kids helping kids.” The kids did an absolutely terrific job this year doing just that, at the Kids Triathlon on June 2nd. Several kids raised more than $1000 each! Ten-year-old Isabel Seibers raised a huge $3300 and captained the Devin’s Pride team formed in honor of All-Star Devin who is battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia. This team raised over $6000!
Fundraising record surpassed
Instead of paying a registration fee, all kids are asked to fundraise to a minimum of $35. This year’s participants did that in style raising a record $35,000! With an additional $40,000 in sponsorships, this event surpassed its goal to enable Pinky Swear to help more families than ever. The foundation helps with basic needs which allows families to focus on their child as they go through what is often years of treatment.
Providing direct assistance to families
Pinky Swear provides direct financial assistance to families—paying mortgages, rents, bills, car payments, gas and grocery gift cards, and more through its All-Star Fund. It also provides an Orange Envelope Gift Card package to newly diagnosed families, provides a food pantry at Levine Children’s Hospital and helps out emotionally with All-Star Weekends of respite at local hotels and other fun events for the whole family. When a child gets cancer, the whole family is affected and unfortunately, it’s not a one-day thing. It’s a crisis that affects the entire family for years and the support of the Lake Norman community and their kids at the triathlon each year allows Pinky Swear to walk alongside these families as they face the fight of their lives.
Developing a philanthropic spirit
The opportunity for kids to do fundraising activities like bake sales, lemonade stands and restaurant fundraisers truly develops a philanthropic spirit at a young age. That, combined with a swim, bike and run, which many do for the first time, provides a huge sense of accomplishment as well as providing a lot of fun. The triathlon includes a unique opening ceremony where All-Star kids and top fundraisers are recognized and celebrated. There are also lots of cool activities including bounce houses, face painting, characters and of course, the famous dunk tank. There’s also a Fun Run for the little ones!
Special thanks to participants and volunteers
Special thanks go to everyone of the 252 kids who participated and to the 100+ people who volunteered at this special event. Many local businesses were also generous cash and in-kind sponsors. All photos in this article are courtesy of Laura Mueller Photography.
“I am very proud to say that, since 2015, when we established a presence in this area, Pinky Swear has never turned down an application from eligible family in North Carolina, and that’s due to the generosity of people here in the LKN community, many of whom have supported us year after year and have encouraged their kids to get involved too,” said Sue Ratcliff, Area Director. “My intention is to keep that up, growing each year to help more and more families. Shockingly more than 1100 families in NC have a child with cancer and there is a huge unmet need.”
Save the date for the Orange and Blue Gala
Sue is now working on the 2020 Orange and Blue Gala on February 1st at Langtree Plantation and encourages you to save the date; tickets will go on sale in October. Information about this and other events will be posted on the website at www.pinkyswear.org and on the Pinky Swear Charlotte Community Facebook page.
For more information
If you are interested in supporting Pinky Swear in any way, please contact Sue at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sue Ratcliff is from the UK where she was an HR Manager for 16 years. She moved over to the US in 2005 and is proudly now an American citizen. She has 3 kids, twin boy and girl aged 17 and a daughter aged 13. Her kids are all active and she fell in love with Pinky Swear when her son and his friend completed their first half marathon doing a Pinky Swear together as they crossed the finish line. Sue has been Area Director for Pinky Swear Foundation for 4 years and has raised over $600,000 for kids with cancer and their families. For more information, visit the PinkySwear Foundation website: https://www.pinkyswear.org/.