CURE Childhood Cancer Association

Summer Volunteer Newsletter 2019

We asked our friends, Erica and RaeAnna, how they got involved with CURE:

About a year or so ago my daughter and I were looking to start giving back to the community in some type of way. We wanted to volunteer and give support to others. Our first thought was to check with Golisano Children’s Hospital. My daughter has been a frequent patient for the last 6 years, so we thought it was a good place to start. Rae was suffering from excruciating migraines, back spasms and high blood pressure for over a year before she was diagnosed with cancer in 2014.  But here we are in 2019… Still celebrating over 4 1/2 years of clean scans and being cancer free!

After exchanging a few emails with Friends from Strong, we got a phone call from one of Strong’s staff members. They had asked us if they could pass our volunteer information along to CURE Childhood Cancer Association. We were excited and said absolutely! So this past January, we received an email from Adella asking if we were interested in joining CURE’s Volunteer Committee. We were ecstatic! We have only been volunteering with CURE now for about 5 months and we love it! We have already met so many amazing children and adults.

How could you not want to give back your time to those in need?! How could you not want to give support to families who don’t deserve to live in pain and fear?! How could you not want to watch kids, who deserve the world, and put smiles on their faces?! In the past 5 months, we have already been able to attend Knighthawks games, The 5K and Fun Walk, The Easter Egg Hunt, The Survivors Day Picnic, several volunteer meetings, and the Volunteer dinner. We look forward to the upcoming fundraisers and volunteering more. We love being apart of CURE more and more after each event.

After RaeAnna’s diagnosis and her cancer was resected, we still lived in fear daily. She may have finally been physically out of pain but the emotional pain tainted us (especially her) for a long time. CURE has given her the opportunity to finally cope with her PTSD and she is thriving. Cancer doesn’t just affect the person living with the disease. It affects the whole family (and friends) who love them too. CURE gives back an unbelievable amount of support in more ways imaginable… And not just for the warrior but the whole family.

CURE’s staff and other volunteers have be to some of the most kind caring people we have ever met. If anyone is looking for an opportunity to volunteer for an amazing organization please reach out. CURE is the most welcoming organization we’ve ever seen or been able to be apart of!

– Erica, RaeAnna’s mom

Benefits of Volunteering

We found a great article about the Benefits of Volunteering. The entire article can be viewed here, but we wanted to highlight some of its contents…

Benefits of volunteering: 4 ways to feel healthier and happier

    1. Volunteering connects you to others
    2. Volunteering is good for your mind and body
    3. Volunteering can advance your career
    4. Volunteering brings fun and fulfillment to your life

      Benefit 1: Volunteering connects you to others

      One of the more well-known benefits of volunteering is the impact on the community. Volunteering allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place. Even helping out with the smallest tasks can make a real difference to the lives of people, animals, and organizations in need. And volunteering is a two-way street: It can benefit you and your family as much as the cause you choose to help. Dedicating your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends, expand your network, and boost your social skills.

      Benefit 3: Volunteering can advance your career

      If you’re considering a new career, volunteering can help you get experience in your area of interest and meet people in the field. Even if you’re not planning on changing careers, volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice important skills used in the workplace, such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, project planning, task management, and organization. You might feel more comfortable stretching your wings at work once you’ve honed these skills in a volunteer position first.

      Benefit 4: Volunteering brings fun and fulfillment to your life

      Volunteering is a fun and easy way to explore your interests and passions. Doing volunteer work you find meaningful and interesting can be a relaxing, energizing escape from your day-to-day routine of work, school, or family commitments. Volunteering also provides you with renewed creativity, motivation, and vision that can carry over into your personal and professional life.

      Many people volunteer in order to make time for hobbies outside of work as well. For instance, if you have a desk job and long to spend time outdoors, you might consider volunteering to help plant a community garden, walk dogs for an animal shelter, or help out at a children’s camp.

It was our great pleasure to recognize some of our most committed volunteers in May at our Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. We had several award recipients:
Young Volunteer of the Year:
Lauren Giannavola
An excerpt from her recognition:
“Agreeing to volunteer at this event, this young lady signed up for more than she anticipated, we think. Assisting with mixing spices and even washing dishes, which Adella said she felt really bad about asking her to do, she demonstrated enthusiasm and caring throughout the entire program.

A few weeks later, Adella again received another email saying:
‘Hi, I was just wondering when I could volunteer again.  I had a lot of fun last time!'”

Be the change you wish to see in this world,

Lauren. We are honored you’ve chosen CURE to volunteer with.

CURE Dedicated Family of the Year:
The Patterson Family
An excerpt from their recognition:
“We remember meeting the Patterson’s as a new family, navigating the news of a recent diagnosis of Childhood Cancer in their family. They could have kept to themselves and gone through treatment and moved on, but that’s just not them. The first year, they enchanted our Holiday Party by bringing bells that the children could use to recreate our favorite holiday classics.

From helping CURE get ready for the holidays, writing thank you cards and always being available to help when the need arises, the Patterson’s have given back to CURE in so many ways.”
We so appreciate the Patterson Family for all their do for CURE!

Outstanding Community Partner:
The Race With Grace Planning Committee
An excerpt from their recognition:
“External fundraisers are put together by friends in the community in their free time. Amazing, right? With the craziness that life entails, it is amazing that incredible, generous people in our community take their time to put together events to benefit our families. We have been blessed to meet some friends who have spent many Thanksgivings running (both literally and figuratively) an event to raise money for local charities. CURE has been the humble recipient of funds raised through this event since 2011. That’s right – a total of over $50,000 has been donated to CURE by our friends. This event has been running for nearly 30 years – almost as long as we have been in existence. A core group of people have poured themselves into planning and executing this event, gathering support from a thousand people at a time. Planning an event of this caliber is not something that is done overnight. The group starts meeting in February to plan for the upcoming race in November.”

While we were definitely missing Steve, former race director, who suddenly passed away just before the event, we were humbled to be able to present the award to Bob Dyjak. Bob has been involved with the race since the beginning and we are so appreciative of his and his colleagues’ efforts.

Outstanding Strong Partner:
Jennifer Schaefer, Child Life Specialist

Child Life Specialists work with children and families in hospital settings in the developmental impact of hospitalization, injury and illness to help them cope with the challenges. They provide children with age appropriate preparation for medical procedures, coping strategies and pain management, along with providing support and information to parents and siblings. Child life specialists are trained in the cognitive, emotional and physical development of children and seek to provide an environment for a child that has the least damaging impact on their development during a hospital stay.

Child Life Specialist Jennifer Schaeffer is an outstanding example of all that embodies this profession. She is caring and kind and seeks to help a child and their family cope with the devastating diagnoses our families face. She has worked as a child life specialist for 20 years and the kids just adore her! She is also a huge supporter of CURE and the work of the parent advocate, often working to come up with strategies of helping the parent as well as the patient. She partners with the parent advocate in advocating for services as well as strategies in making sure the family is cared for in the best possible way.

We are so honored to continue our work with Jen at Golisano Children’s Hospital and are pleased to award her the CURE Strong Partner of the Year Award

Rookie of the Year:
Joe DiFabio, Board member
An excerpt from his recognition:
“Since the very first day this person became involved with CURE, a helping hand was offered. From simple things like picking up auction items or donations to more involved tasks like soliciting donations and introducing us to local businesspeople; this person has been ready and willing to do it all. Just a month and a half after becoming involved with our organization, this person was at the 5k, volunteering in one of the more undesirable positions. The golf tournament, the Brunch, the Tacky Sweater Event, Trivia Night, the 5k again….this person is everywhere. Did I mention Park Ave Fest? Hustling. Meeting with people. Telling people about the important mission of CURE. Spreading the word. Why? Not because of the return he would be getting himself, which is virtually nothing, but because of who he is. He believes in CURE, our mission and helping families.”
Thank you, Joe, for hitting the pavement for CURE and helping us to provide such important services to our families.

John and Judi Sturge Committed Volunteer Award:
Joan Reeves
An excerpt from her recognition:
“Losing a child can break you. It can make you feel like giving up or moving completely away from the world of illness. But this volunteer chose to use her experience to help others who endure this unimaginable loss. Losing a child can destroy you. It can cause you to go down a path of darkness and despair. But this volunteer chose to connect with other parents who have experienced loss. She co-facilitated bereavement group in an effort to help ease the pain parents were feeling. She wanted our bereaved parents to know they were not alone, sadly. This club, this bereaved parents club, is not a club people want to join but it is a “club” that our parents can feel more comfortable sharing their grief in because of the actions of this volunteer. Every year, the day that these sweet souls breathed their last breath on earth can be a very difficult day. This volunteer, however, is following in the spirit of John and Judi Sturge and letting parents know we are thinking about them and they are not alone in their grief. They receive angelversary cards, lovingly put together by this wonderful volunteer.”
We are so incredibly thankful for our friend Joan, who lovingly helps to care for our CURE families.

For more information on how you can volunteer for the 4th Annual Patrick Carr Memorial Golf Tournament, email Bridget at bridget.sadler@curekidscancer.com

CURE Childhood Cancer Association

Garden Clean Up

After winter, our beautiful Memorial Garden needs some tender care.  Please sign up and help us keep the Julie Roberts Memorial Garden a beautiful place for everyone to enjoy.  Please feel free to pick any time and day, within each week that is available, to sign up.  Thank you!

Location: Julie Roberts Memorial Garden

200 Westfall Rd., Rochester, NY 14620
Click here to sign up today!
CURE Childhood Cancer Association
Park Ave Festival

Volunteer Sign Up

August 3, 2019 10:00am – 6:00 pm

August 4, 2019 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Volunteers will represent CURE Childhood Cancer Association for the Park Avenue Fest Weekend. Volunteers will be asked to come into the office prior to the event for a brief meeting to obtain instructions.

During volunteer time, individuals will:
– Answer questions about the organization
– Encourage guests to come to our tent to learn more about the organization
– Sell various pieces of CURE merchandise
– Distribute flyers to guests
– Collect donations on behalf of the organization
– Be friendly!

– Be outgoing!

– HAVE FUN!!

Click here to sign up today!

We would love you to volunteer!

Please email Holly at holly.dutcher@curekidscancer.com today to sign up!

Email Brittany Charles to learn how you can be a part of our newly formed CUREROC YP Group!
charlebc11@gmail.com

The Easter Egg Hunt was great fun for all of kids that were able to participate this year!  We owe a special thank you to AP Enterprises for hosting it again this year and all of the Volunteers that were able to help! Volunteers checked families in, set up decorations and raffle baskets, set out the Easter Eggs, served food and pizza, worked in the craft area, DJed, worked at the Jellybean guess game and cleaned up!

Our Volunteers had a GREAT time at the Knighthawks Cradle for a CURE game back in April as well as with TWO additional games, thanks to our friends at the Knighthawks! Volunteers sold 50/50 raffle tickets to raise money for our families.

The United Way Day of Caring is a wonderful way for an organization to volunteer as a group as well as have a team building experience that will make a difference in their community!  Thank you to all of our Volunteers that participated this year!

What can we say about this group of WARRIORS!  Our beautiful children that were able to participate in our 2019 Survivors’ Day Picnic this past June, made the day one to remember!  To make this day so successful, we had a dedicated group of Volunteers that make everything go so smoothly.  Thank you for all of your hard work!

July 29th:  4th Annual Patrick Carr Memorial Golf Tournament

August 3rd & 4th:  Park Ave Festival (waiting on verification)

August 25th:  Our Charity Events Motorcycle Poker Run

September 21st:  Morton Fun Day

September 29th:  Annual Recipe for a CURE Sunday Brunch

December 11th TBD:  CURE Holiday Party