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.
Spring has sprung in the clinic! Several times each month, Connor's Heroes volunteers help kids create a fun-themed craft while they wait in clinic. Mike and Jill made tissue flowers and cute caterpillars. Look at their smiles. Now, imagine how much fun it was for the kids! If you're interested in volunteering with Connor's Heroes, here's information on how you can start: www.connorsheroes.org/get-involved
Four-year-old Ke'Aari celebrated his Day Zero. Day Zero is often described as a child's "New Birthday" in the cancer world. It is the day a patient receives their donor's cells. Ky’Shon, Ke'Aari's 8-year-old brother, was his donor. To help the family, CHF lined up a crew of volunteers to decorate Ke'Aari's room with his favorite cartoon: Sponge Bob Square Pants. Volunteer Freya Koehne worked with new volunteer Erica Strine. Keep Ke'Aari, Ke'Shon and their family in your thoughts as they hope the transplant is a success.
A Message from Celia
As Poppy would say "This is what it's all about"
For those of you who I have not yet met, I am Celia Tetlow. Six weeks ago, I started as Executive Director of Connor’s Heroes. While I am new to this role, I am not new to the organization. Eight years ago, I decorated a hospital room on the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit as a volunteer for Connor’s Heroes. A three-year-old girl was about to call this room home for the foreseeable future. As I picked out unicorns, rainbow-themed decor and everything pink, it clicked. I was hooked. I wanted to be a part of the hero community who provided hope, guidance, and support for children and their families battling cancer. Now, as Executive Director, I have the honor of advancing the mission of Connor’s Heroes. These first six weeks have been an incredible experience. I’ve learned so much about our brave heroes, their dedicated medical staff, and you!
My second week here culminated with the 8th annual Heroes Art Ball. Wow, what an amazing evening! I always look forward to the “Live Auction” and this year did not disappoint. I watched Maya take her gorgeous mosaic table on stage, and sweet Jaiden proudly show off his octopus painting. Abigail couldn’t believe her Koi Pond painting went for thousands of dollars! They were proud to take the stage in honor of the other children who are on the same journey. Our heroes were the true stars of the show!
I attended the ribbon cutting of VCU's newly expanded pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). The PICU is big news for our families and for Richmond! The expansion makes it the largest PICU in the region. During his remarks, Elias Neujahr, CEO of CHoR, personally thanked Connor's Heroes for our good works. It was a great afternoon meeting the nurses and doctors who continue to provide the best care for our children.
I spent a day with Erin, our program coordinator. Erin is the “face” of Connor’s Heroes. She knows each family and offers the programs that will help them best without overwhelming them. I made my way down to clinic to join the Connor’s Heroes volunteers who make arts and crafts with our kids while they wait for their appointments. Then I went to the pediatric inpatient floor. In collaboration with CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation, every Thursday, you allow us to serve a healthy lunch to all the patients and caregivers on the floor. Throughout the day, I met a number of our brave hero families and heard more about their journey with childhood cancer. They were all so appreciative of Connor’s Heroes which warmed my heart!
As I reflect on the past month, I know that we are making a difference in the lives of the families who need Connor’s Heroes. Our programs find ways for kids to be kids, provide an extra hand in time of need, and make sure a family’s stay in the hospital feels more like home. I can’t do it alone. You will help and guide me. I am reminded of my “Poppy” and a quote that he would frequently say, “This is what it’s all about.” I think it’s very fitting for Connor’s Heroes. Connor’s Heroes is about our community of heroes helping children who need it the most. It is about you taking part in this amazing organization. This is what it’s all about.
Thank you, Kate Grossman, for volunteering your time and taking these beautiful photos. You can see more of her work at www.kategrossman.com
We were blown away by Greg Wright's photos of the Heroes Art Ball. He captured many special moments, especially of the kids when they took the stage. They looked amazing! Thank you to everyone who was a hero and donated, bid and cheered for the Heroes of RVA. You can see more of Greg's work at his website: Greg Wright Studios http://www.gregwright.co/gallery/
The 2018 Heroes Art Ball was a magical night for everyone who attended. We are grateful to our Social Media Sponsor, Kaplan Voekler Cunningham & Frank PLC. Because of the firm's generosity, when our guests arrived, they stopped for a quick photo in front of our backdrop. Here are some of the people who made a difference in the lives of our community's children who are bravely battling cancer and the researchers who bring them hope. Together they made up our community of heroes at the Heroes Art Ball!
More from photos from the Social Media Sponsor, Kaplan Voekler Cunningham & Frank PLC, photo stop. Thank you for sharing in the joy, hope, and excitement of the 8th Annual Heroes Art Ball.