The Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation recently hosted its Fifth Annual "Sport-A-Palooza" Fundraiser. The nearly 240 people gathered at Gaelic Park in Oak Forest on April 5 witnessed a remarkable evening that included a delicious buffet dinner and musical entertainment along with chances to win exciting prizes through silent and live auctions and raffles. The final tally shows the Sport-A-Palooza raised more than $37,000 to benefit childhood cancer patients.
The evening's agenda overflowed with memorable moments beginning with Emcee and Channel 32 FOX News Sports Reporter Dionne Miller's welcoming words. Former Chicago Cubs star pitcher Milt Pappas and Former Chicago White Sox player Dan Pasqua participated in a meet and greet and signed autographs along with sharing great memories.
Following dinner, Emcee Dionne Miller thanked all of the attendees for their tremendous support before introducing and honoring the Foundation's Volunteer of the Year, Tinley Park resident Chris Stoiner. LaGrange’s Kent Mueller, father of the Sport-A-Palooza Honorary Chairperson Becca Mueller, delivered a touching speech which provided a unique glimpse into the hardships faced by a family dealing with a young child’s cancer diagnosis.
Throughout the evening, the words and actions of all those present reflected the Foundation's gratitude for the loyal support it has received as well as the incredible strength and courage of the children and families who are battling childhood cancer.
The POTCF is a unique organization whose services impact more than 9,000 young cancer patients each month. Nowhere else in the nation does such a program exist. Ms. Kisel founded the organization in 1996 after her then seven-year-old son Martin had been diagnosed with leukemia in 1993. She discovered that giving her son a toy after each procedure provided a calming distraction from his pain, noting that when children are diagnosed with cancer their world soon becomes filled with doctors, nurses, chemotherapy drugs, surgeries and seemingly endless painful procedures. Martin celebrated his 21st anniversary of remission from the disease in 2014.
If you would like further information about the Treasure Chest Foundation, please contact Colleen Kisel at 708-687-TOYS (8697) or visit the Foundation’s web site at www.treasurechest.org.