"Give First. It's a simple mantra," said Chairman Kent Wellington of the Karen Wellington Foundation.
Kent's wife, Karen, passed away at the age of 40 after a 10-year "life" with breast cancer. Kent realized the impact of his wife's spirit and value of each day spent with her--so he wanted to give that to other women. The Karen Wellington Foundation is an anti-cancer group.
"The foundation is more of an attitude and less of a foundation" said Kent.
This year's event will take place at Lake Forest Country Club Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. A casino night, entertainment donated by The Clocktower Band and a silent auction and raffle will highlight the event. Some auction items include Craft Beer Brewery Private Tours, Browns and Cavs tickets, weekend getaway packages and more. Tickets include dinner by the bite and drink tickets at the event.
KWF spends no money on a cure for breast cancer. Instead, KWF focuses on the healthy side of the families LIVING with breast cancer and puts some fun on their calendar. Vacations, spa days, sporting events, concerts and more.
The Foundation for LIVING with Breast Cancer was founded in 2007 to honor Karen's life and to share her legacy of living life to the fullest, each and every day. Karen's Foundation focuses on those healthy body parts. The legs that can still walk and the lungs that can still breathe - not the cancer.
"The wonderful thing about this foundation is that it doesn't focus on cancer or finding a cure. It focuses on the women that are living and it gives them so much more than a vacation! For some, it's their first time after a long battle to get away and to just be normal and spend time with their families. For others, it's their last vacation but a lifetime of happy memories for their loved ones," said Chapter Founder Amy McDonald. "We had a great kick-off for KWF Cleveland last year-- and we look forward to this year's fundraiser to honor local women with some much needed relaxation and quality time with their families."
For the second year as a chapter in Cleveland, the Karen Wellington Foundation, started by Amy and Brian McDonald, has generated community wide support for women living with breast cancer. The Hudson community has taken this cause to heart. Since established in Cleveland last year, the Hudson Varsity Girls Lacrosse team, and the Hudson Cheerleaders have chosen this cause for "Play Pink."
The inaugural event raised over $18,000 last year with hopes to grow annually. The monies raised will benefit local women living with cancer through the gifted fun. Amy and Brian have put together a team to help organize and fundraise for the annual event: Amy Piel, Kelly Pamer, Jennifer Gojdics, Mary Farley, and Susan and Chris Oppelt.
Last year, two Hudson women were honored (Bridget and Karen) with a family vacation. Furthermore, two local donors gave up their vacation home for four vacation gifts to women in 2016 and have offered again in 2017. State Representative Kristina Roegner has offered their families' vacation spot to the 2017 calendar.
"I am thankful for all that the Karen Wellington Foundation does to support women living with breast cancer and their families. Life is so precious. We need to be thankful and rejoice everyday," Roegner said.
This year, there are six local women being honored: Trish, a grandmother and two-time cancer survivor will enjoy a spa day with a friend; Lori, a wife and mother of five from Hudson will enjoy a beach vacation; Melissa, a mother of two from Concord, Ohio will enjoy a vacation; Nadia, mother of two with stage 4 cancer from Rocky River will enjoy a trip; Michelle from Massillon and Rhonda, mother of 2 sons from Cuyahoga Falls with stage 4 will enjoy fun with their family.
This is an excerpt from a recipient who was given a week's stay with her daughter off the coast of Massachusetts by an attendee last year at our event:
"I am doing chemo orally daily and go in for a bone marrow shot every three weeks! I'm not sure if anything will ever come of this email, but if there is any chance of being granted a wish...I want to be able to do something with my daughter! I wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for her love and support. My doctor didn't think I had six weeks to live and I have faced death twice on this journey called stage 4 breast cancer.
Days, when I was afraid to close my eyes, my daughter held my hand and slept on the floor to get me through some very scary days of my life! She gave up going to college to stay home and complete her classes online, so she could take care of me battling cancer! I would sit in a chair getting chemo and she was in the chair next to me completing her assignments. She is finishing her first year of college and I'm fighting like hell to beat this cancer, so I can be around to watch her do amazing things with her life.
I'm no one special... I'm fighting this cancer just like any other man or woman/child battling breast cancer. I lost my job because of cancer and don't have much left. I would love to do something special with my daughter to thank her for standing by her mom. I'm not sure why you picked me, but I would be forever grateful to be able to do something special with my Megan. A dream of all dreams would to be able to go to Boston, but anything would be special. Because when you have nothing... anywhere would be a dream come true! Thank you for thinking of me! It means more than you can ever know" - Mary
For more information, if you would like to attend, or to donate, visit www.karenwellingtonfoundation.org or contact Amy McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org.