Tracy’s Kids 2016 Annual Report

Our Tracy’s Kids 2016 Annual Report and Audit are here!  Read the heart-warming stories and learn what Tracy’s Kids accomplished in 2016. 

 

12th Annual “And the Winner is…” Red Carpet Event Benefits Tracy’s Kids

 

We had a fabulous time on February 13, 2017  celebrating the movies, actors — and our REAL stars — our Tracy’s Kids patients and the art therapists who work with them!  Second Lady Karen Pence, a Tracy’s Kids board member, and Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill received the charity’s Courage Awards at the annual fundraiser.  

Among the crowd celebrating these heroes were: Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and his wife Marcelle Leahy, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), charity founder Matt Gerson and Comcast’s David Cohen.

2015 Tracy’s Kids Expenditures

We are especially proud that Tracy’s Kids offers so much impact with so little overhead. The percentage of our funds dedicated to delivering our services is well above industry norms.

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2014 Tracy’s Kids Expenditures

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Tracy’s Kids 2015 Fundraiser

First of all, we would like to say

THANK YOU 

to everyone who came out to support Tracy’s Kids on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 for our 10th Annual “And the Winner Is” event. It was an amazing night spent celebrating Tracy’s Kids on the red carpet and at the movies.

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To everyone who came to the event and donated to support Tracy’s Kids, we sincerely thank you. It is only with your continued support that we are able to do this important work.

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We would also like to thank the following individuals and organizations for helping make our ninth annual event such a great success:

  • Carly Glazier Photography
  • Comcast/NBCUniversal
  • NFL Players Association
  • Regal Entertainment Group
  • Susan O’Neill and Associates
  • The Studios – 21st Century Fox, Comcast/NBCUniversal, Focus Features, Fox Searchlight, IFC, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Time Warner, Viacom, Warner Bros. Pictures, and The Weinstein Company

This year was a little bit different than most, as we presented three Courage Awards.

First, we presented Congressman Tom Marino (R-10/PA) with the Courage Award. Congressman Marino has battled kidney cancer for over a decade — including having a kidney removed in 2012. He also has a special appreciation for our mission because his daughter has spent a great deal of time in hospitals in connection with her Cystic Fibrosis. He is deeply committed to raising awareness of the path traveled by American families that confront serious pediatric illnesses.

 

Then, we were honored to present Devon Still of the Cincinnati Bengals with a Courage Award.  The story of Devon and his four year old daughter captivated NFL fans following Leah’s neuroblastoma diagnosis in June.  Interest swelled in late August when the Bengals cut Devon from the 53 team roster but re-signed him to the 10-man practice squad so that he could continue to receive medical benefits.  An opposing coach who had never met Devon — the Saints’ Sean Payton — bought 100 of his jerseys when he learned that the proceeds were being donated to support children with cancer.  Some opponents’ cheerleaders wore Devon’s jerseys during games this season.  To date, jersey sales and Devon’s efforts have raised over $1.3 million in contributions to fight pediatric cancer and raise awareness of the struggles that the disease and its treatment impose on families. We are thrilled that Devon’s daughter Leah is now cancer free!

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Matt Gerson is presented with a surprise Courage Award

Finally, we surprised Tracy’s Kids Chairman and Founder, Matt Gerson, with a Courage Award. Matt is our fearless leader, a constant advocate for this program, and the last person to draw attention to himself for this work. Because of that, Board Member Marcelle Leahy and Event Planner Susan O’Neill conspired to award Matt for his good work – and the perseverance he showed when battling cancer as a child. This program would not be as successful, as far reaching, or as effective without Matts leadership.

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We were honored to have the company of many Members of Congress again this year. Our guests included Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-7), Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Representative David Cicilline (D-RI-1), Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN-9), Representative Doug Collins (R-GA-9), Representative Ted Deutch (D-FL-21), Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA-6), Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Mrs. Grassley, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mrs. Marcelle Leahy, Representative Tom Marino (R-PA-10), Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA-2), Representative Jerrold Nadler (R-NY-10), Senator Rob Portman (R-PA), Senator Patrick Toomey (R-PA), Representative Fred Upton (R-MI-6), Representative Greg Walden (R-OR-2).

As a reminder, the 2015 movies that our guests chose from were:

  • American Sniper — Courtesy of Time Warner
  • Birdman — Courtesy of 21st Century Fox
  • Boyhood — Courtesy of IFC 
  • Foxcatcher — Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment
  • The Imitation Game — Courtesy of The Weinstein Company
  • Selma – Courtesy of Viacom
  • The Theory of Everything – Courtesy of Comcast NBCUniversal

Once again, we auctioned artwork done by Tracy’s Kids as well as a pieces by Tracy’s Kids friends and fellow artists, Kari Kant and Sabra Rogers. We also auctioned off a guitar signed by Country Music Awards Entertainer of the Year, Luke Bryan; two tickets to watch a live taping of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart; two tickets to watch a live taping of Late Night with Seth Meyers; a phenomenal package from the Washington Nationals that includes 4 VIP seats, on field passes to watch batting practice, and the chance to call “Play Ball” or deliver the Lineup Card; a set of Nike Vapor Irons, three Nike Golf wedges, and a Nike Golf bag; a foursome to play a round of golf at Creighton Farms; and a raffle for two tickets to see Taylor Swift in Concert at Nationals Park on Monday, July 13.

 

It was another great year of “And the Winner Is” – we look forward to seeing you all next year and celebrating with you then!

Tracy’s Kids 2015 Program

Wrapping up 2013

“The funds provided by Tracy’s Kids have made a significant difference in the lives of so many of the families who have a child or teen with cancer and within the cancer community as a whole.”

-James Zabora, Director, Life with Cancer

Gifts by Tracy’s Kids

Since it’s “non-profit Tuesday” we wanted to remind everyone to go to the Tracy’s Kids gallery on the Junior Monet website. We have artwork from many of our kids that can be printed into holiday decorations, aprons, water bottles, magnets, ties–just about anything you can think of! They will make wonderful gifts, so do a little shopping for a great cause!

Here is the link to the gallery

and a couple of photos giving you an idea of the great products you can order–they make great gifts and they benefit Tracy’s Kids.

A selection of Tracy's Kids products on Junior Monet

A selection of Tracy’s Kids products on Junior Monet

Junior Monet has started a great new campaign called “Art for a Cure” and “Art for a Cause.” If you purchase items from these collections, Junior Monet will make an additional donation to Tracy’s Kids! Take a look, happy shopping, and keep checking back for more art from our kids!

Art for a Cause benefits Tracy's Kids

Art for a Cause benefits Tracy’s Kids

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Tape-imals

The art room at the Methodist Children’s clinic is currently overrun with tape animals (and a few other interesting creatures), and they have created quite a buzz among everyone who sees them!

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A young college student visited our clinic one day to learn more about art therapy and specifically how Tracy’s Kids operates.  While she sat in the art room, getting to know some of the kids, she showed us how to make sculptures out of paper and masking tape.  The kids and I were enthralled.  The construction is simple, but really require a lot of patience and problem-solving to get the desired effect.  It’s a great project for families to do together, because sometimes you need extra hands.

All you need is paper, masking tape, and paint.  Regular masking tape works the best.  We started with painter’s tape because I had it on hand, but it doesn’t stick very well (by design), even though it IS  a fun blue color.  The paper is easiest to sculpt if it’s on the thin side, like copy paper.  This could be a great use for extra sheets of paper that are often floating around hospital clinics.  Crumple the paper and work it with your hands until you get the desired shape, then wrap in several layers of tape.  If you do make an animal – or anything with limbs and parts that stick out – it works best to do it in pieces, and then join them together.  Most kids decide to paint the sculptures at the end, but it’s up to them!

I am a big fan of any art that is cheap to create.  As an added bonus, despite their use of simple materials, the end-result looks really special.  I love the attention they get from everyone in the clinic – doctors and nurses and everyone who happens by all “ooh” and”ahh” over them, to the kids’ delight.

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Yes, that is the Pillsbury Doughboy!

Siblings support

Iv pole

The other day a patient came in for chemotherapy with two siblings. All three children immediately set up space in the art area to create for the two hour chemo infusion. The older of the siblings had not been to the clinic as frequently as the younger sibling and was excited at all the materials available to him. After a few rough inventions that he scrapped, he went about collecting materials to recreate his siblings “i.v. pole”. With cardboard tubes, a few boxes, some large spools, string, wooden dowels, and a failed teepee(my art project), the pole was complete. All the families and staff were impressed with his attention to detail. As this was his siblings last planned chemotherapy it seemed fitting to bring a piece of the clinic home with them. While this sibling was unable to attend the clinic as often as the rest of his family, he was affected by the machinery just the same.

A Follow-up to the Flamingo

Several weeks ago, we wrote a blog post about a wonderful young artist who makes some fantastic creations during her time in the art therapy room. In June, we told you about a cardboard tube flamingo. Now, we would like to share one of her most recent creations – a coordinated costume for her pet (stuffed) dog.

This young lady always seems to come into the art room with a plan. She doesn’t usually share her thoughts, so we get to enjoy watching her creation come together with each sequin, dot of paint or piece of tape she adds. Of course, we usually have some idea in our heads of what she might be making… But we never want to underestimate her creativity. This six-year-old frequently reminds us of how amazingly resourceful children can be – especially those who face the challenge of cancer treatment.

What we thought was going to be a pretty traditional picture of a sunflower quickly morphed into a costume. And not just any costume… but one that completely coordinated with the artist’s outfit of the day!

She dressed her dog and “walked” him around the art room with pride!

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