The 2014 “And the Winner Is” Event

First of all, we would like to say


to everyone who came out to support Tracy’s Kids on Tuesday, February 25, 2014. It was an amazing night spent celebrating Tracy’s Kids on the red carpet and at the movies.


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


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


At the event we presented Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) with the Courage Award for the perseverance and bravery she has shown during her personal battle with cancer. She spoke briefly about her own experiences, and we were honored with all that she shared. You can watch her speech by clicking here.

Senator Heidi Heitkamp at the 2014 And the Winner Is Event

Senator Heidi Heitkamp at the 2014 And the Winner Is Event.

David Cohen, Marcelle Leahy and Matt Gerson present the Courage Award

David Cohen, Marcelle Leahy and Matt Gerson present the Courage Award

We were honored to have the company of many Members of Congress again this year. Our guests included Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-CA), the 2013 Courage Award Winner Congressman Dave Camp (R-MI), Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL), Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Congressman Tom Marino (R-PA), Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR), Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA), Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI), Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). The FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly was also in attendance.

Tracy's Kids participants and supporters Devan Tatlow and his mother joined us on the red carpet again this year!

Tracy’s Kids participants and supporters Devan Tatlow and his mother joined us on the red carpet again this year!

Here’s a quick roundup of the event, for those of you who were unable to join us.  After Matt Gerson welcomed everyone and spoke briefly about his own fight with cancer and his continued dedication to the Tracy’s Kids cause, Tracy Councill introduced Dr. Aziza Shad of Georgetown’s Lombardi Cancer Center. Dr. Shad spoke of the positive impact that Tracy’s Kids has had at the clinic and personally thanked Tracy’s Kids supporters for enabling us to do this important work. Marcelle Leahy introduced David Cohen from Comcast/NBCUniversal to present Senator Heidi Heitkamp with the Courage Award. Melissa Maxfield of Comcast/NBCUniversal then drew the raffle winner for tickets to see Katy Perry at the Verizon Center, and announced the movie theaters where each of the six movies would be screened. Our guests then made their way upstairs to the theaters to enjoy popcorn and the movie of their choice.

As a reminder, the 2014 movies that our guests chose from were:

  •  Gravity – Winner of the DGA’s Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film [Courtesy of Time Warner]
  • 12 Years a Slave – Winner of the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Picture [Courtesy of 21st Century Fox]
  • American Hustle – Winner of three Golden Globes including Best Motion Picture [Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment]
  • Dallas Buyers Club – Winner of two SAG awards recognizing both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto [Courtesy of Comcast/NBCUniversal]
  • Nebraska – Winner of Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival, and from the National Board of Review and LA Film Critics — all recognizing Bruce Dern [Courtesy of Viacom]
  • Philomena – nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actress recognizing Dame Judi Dench [Courtesy of The Weinstein Company]

This year we auctioned artwork done by Tracy’s Kids as well as a piece by Tracy’s Kids Program Director, Tracy Councill. Tracy’s Kids friends and fellow artists, Kari Kant and Sabra Rogers, were also generous enough to donate pieces to our event. The artwork was extremely popular, and gave our guests a chance to see some of the pieces done at each of our program locations.


It was another great year of “And the Winner Is” – we look forward to seeing you all next year for our 10th Annual “And the Winner Is” and celebrating with you then!

Friends of Tracy’s Kids

rowdy readers

Often times we have families and friends of families ask to give donations specifically to Tracy’s Kids. Not only do people love the program and see the benefits every day, but they love that the money will go to something very visible and tangible – art supplies! Obviously, the donations help pay our salaries and make our jobs possible, as well, but seeing the product of their contributions – the kid’s wonderful art – is very gratifying for the donors.

Last month, I was surprised instead by one of our staff members – an awesome nurse named Anita – and her book club with a check for $100. The individuals in the club – the San Antonio Rowdy Readers – donate $1 each meeting, then give whatever they collect at the end of the year to an organization or cause that they want to help. This year, that recipient was me and Tracy’s Kids! It was such a treat and a testament not only to the impact of art therapy on patients AND staff, but also to how dedicated our nurses are to improving our kids’ lives.

Thanks Anita and the San Antonio Rowdy Readers! And thank you to everyone who gives to our program.  It makes a difference you can see.