We had a great night at The Diamond. Close to 50 of our Heroes, friends, and families came for the fun. There were fireworks, ice cream, hugs with Nutzy and a win for the Flying Squirrels! Our Hero Molly and her brother Books were really excited because this was their very first baseball game! What a wonderful memory you gave this family and everyone who came to the game.
December 25 is technically months away, but not at Connor's Heroes. Erin, Fran and Celia are gearing up for a week-long giving party at clinic. This week, Connor's Heroes will have big boxes overflowing with toys, games, crafts, books and much more. Children receive a bag and are invited to dive in and fill it up! Our wonderful volunteers will be in clinic throughout the week making crafts and we'll have lunch catered for families to grab-n-go. This is our biggest Christmas in July ever. Thanks to your support, we are making sure no child faces their cancer alone!
We had a great time together yesterday for our July Hero Art Session. Our Hero Art Sessions have become a popular program for our families. It is so popular that, thanks to your donations and our fantastic crew of volunteers, we host a session every month. It is an excellent example of how easy it is for you to be a hero to a child with cancer. Thank you to our wonderful partners at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond for hosting.
Laura Markley has been with the Connor's Heroes Board of Directors since April 2017. Learn how her passion for non-profits drew her to Connor's Heroes.
Q: What are you most passionate about when you think about the work, mission and impact of Connor’s Heroes?
A: Families. There's something about cancer that deeply impacts families. It's a time of profound upheaval and uncertainty. My brother is an oncologist largely because he saw our mother battle breast cancer while he was in medical school. Connor's Heroes steps in from the first moment of diagnosis and remains involved in kid's lives well past the diagnosis. Connor’s Heroes provides everything from short-term needs (groceries, travel stipends) to long-term impact (emotional support and community building).
Q: What is your favorite experience so far with Connor’s Heroes?
A: The Heroes Art Ball. There's something amazing about seeing the beacons of light and hope that the Heroes are, paired with inspiring artwork created by the kids and professional artists working together. Not to mention, kids in ball gowns and tuxedos are just darn cute!
Q: Why should others support Connor’s Heroes?
A: After working with a variety of non-profits, I believe those with local connections can most efficiently meet the needs of their communities. Local groups aren't hamstrung by national or global oversight or red tape. Founded by a patient's family, and with several patient families on our board, Connor's Heroes is very much in touch with the cancer community and dedicated to helping those families and to be a good steward of its resources.
Q: Why do you believe it is important to give back to your community?
A: We all have gifts. I believe we're called to use them, both for the benefit of our workplaces and for our community.
Q: Tell us about your personal/professional background.
A: After being a double major at William & Mary in English and Accounting, my husband and I got married in the Wren Building and moved to New York City "just for a year or two." Six years later, I'd spent my time in a variety of financial services (investment banking and private wealth management) and received an MBA from Columbia University. We moved back to Richmond in 2013 to raise our family. Non-profits and philanthropy have long been a passion of mine. In New York, a fellow director and I managed a family's family foundation giving (> $100M). For my MBA I concentrated in impact investing and did an independent study with the Rockefeller Foundation. I joined NRV as the Director of Investments. I work with a variety of start-ups at NRV. The themes are very similar between start-ups and non-profits: using minimal resources for maximum impact towards a problem they want to see changed.
For a complete list of CHF Board of Directors, visit www.connorsheroes.org/our-story/our-board-members
At Center of the Universe Brewing Company in Ashland, Connor's Heroes had a fun night for the children and their Hero Parents. It was a "Parents Night Out" hosted by our Programs Committee. The committee arranged for the kids to make crafts, play games and plant flowers with our wonderful volunteers. The parents enjoyed time with other parents who are also on this childhood cancer journey. It was fellowship, friends, and fun. It happened thanks to businesses like COTU and caring people like YOU!
You never know where Connor's Heroes art will show up.
Celia visited the offices of Kaplan Voekler Cunningham & Frank PLC to meet with our Board Chair, Tom Voekler. On the walls throughout the office are pieces of Hero art; including a large zebrafish painted by a local muralist for RVA Street Festival. We are so grateful for KVCF's continued support and dedication to Connor's Heroes! Capital Square LLC emailed a picture of the new additions to their office. You can see how they displayed three colorful zebrafish they purchased at the 8th Annual Heroes Art Ball.
The zebrafish has become a symbol of pediatric cancer research thanks to funding from the Connor's Heroes Pediatric Cancer Research Fund. Make a gift today to help us continue to fund critical research right here in Richmond!
Thank you to our friends at the Kiwanis Club of Midlothian-Chesterfield. Celia spoke at their meeting in June. They presented her with a check to help local children who are battling childhood cancer. We appreciate their kind words that they shared on Facebook.
This morning we heard from Celia Tetlow from Connor's Heroes Foundation. They're doing wonderful things for kids fighting cancer in Richmond and surrounding areas. We are proud to support this organization.
The spirit of giving is growing in our community. Students at Crestwood Elementary donated the proceeds from their plant sale to help the kids who registered with Connor's Heroes. $400! How sweet of them to think of others and encourage us to grow (and eat) our veggies.
We want to thank the 4th, 5th and 6th graders of Ginter Park Presbyterian Church for wanting to help kids in the community who are battling childhood cancer. The children collected loose change in jars that they beautifully decorated in class. They were part of the church's outreach "Change for Change." Co-teachers Anne Westrick and Catharine Weiss said "It’s not a lot of money, but it represents a lot of love. Connor’s Heroes has been on our hearts for many months. Thank you for what you do." We are so grateful for our young philanthropists!
We put the word out that we needed essential items for our Heroes Bags and Backpacks. You delivered. Literally! People ordered off our Amazon.com wish list and shipped them directly to our office. Erin can grab and go what she needs for our families. Erin updates the wish list, so check it periodically.