The annual Children’s Cancer Fund Luncheon is not your typical Dallas fundraising luncheon. Not only does it raise critical funding for pediatric cancer research and programs at Children’s Medical Center, it also serves as a positive social-psychological experience for children undergoing cancer treatment. With the help of area celebrities, sponsors, and a caring community, these children are given a fun day, away from hospitals and treatment.
|Rowdy with Ella Lawless|
Twenty-one young cancer patients from Children’s Medical Center selected an outfit donated by Dillard’s to model at the luncheon. When they arrived at the Hilton Anatole Hotel the morning of the luncheon, they were paired with volunteer buddies, and spent the day backstage talking to celebrities, having fun with clowns and magicians, getting their hair done, taking pictures, coloring, eating lunch, and more. They were joined by up to 100 more children who are all pediatric cancer survivors and who joined them for the grand finale of the fashion show, which featured music by Amber Carrington and Justin Rivers of NBC’s “The Voice.”
|Event Co-Chair Roger Staubach with Micah Reed|
This year’s guests included longtime Event Chairmen Roger Staubach, who has chaired the event for all 27 years, and Troy Aikman, who has co-chaired for the past 18 years. Clarice Tinsley and Steve Eager served as mistress and master of ceremonies, and as the children took the runway with their escorts, they shared a little about each child with the audience. For example: “Micah Reed, a 6th grader at Sulphur Springs Middle School, wants to be an oncologist and an artist when he grows up. His heroes are the U.S. military, past and present because they fight for our freedom. He loves drawing, listening to music and writing, and is happy when his counts are good and he is not weak."
|Jocelyn White, creator/host at Designing DFW with Julia Brown|
Rhonda Sargent Chambers of RSC Productions produced the show. Celebrity escorts included Dallas Cowboys Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne, and Terence Newman, along with Rowdy and Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Miss Texas America Monique Evans and Miss Texas Teen USA Chloe Kemble, joined a host of other celebrities and sponsors including Drew Pearson, Ray Johnston, Charles Haley, Steve Largent, Jason Castro, the Pink Heals Firefighters, Dallas SWAT Team, Queen Elsa and Cinderella, among others.
|Courtney Kerr, fashion blogger and TV/Radio personality, with Luna Martell|
Event Chairmen Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman kicked off the luncheon in the Chantilly Ballroom, introducing committee co-chairs Kathleen Strand and Cara Serber, who each have daughters who have had cancer.
Kathleen Strand told the audience, “There’s nothing that can every prepare you for the words, ‘I’m sorry, your child has cancer.’ And there’s almost nothing you can do to fix it or to help make sure your child gets better. I stand her before you today, humbled by all of you, as your presence here helps us in our fight against pediatric cancer.”
|Event Co-Chair Troy Aikman with Brady Pampillonia|
Prior to the western-themed runway fashion show, a live auction was held, which included original artwork painted by children and Texas-based artist Christopher H. Martin. Numerous other packages were also auctioned during this time.
With over $7 million in funds raised, since 1982, for pediatric cancer research, Children’s Cancer Fund continues to fund critical research while improving treatments for hundreds of children throughout the greater North Texas community,” said Luncheon Committee Co-Chair Cara Serber. “A significant amount of these funds are raised through this annual luncheon.
|Miss Teen Texas Chloe Isabelle Kembel with Karla Salazar|
Proceeds from this event go to Children’s Cancer Fund to help advance pediatric cancer research and treatment programs at Children’s Medical Center, benefiting children worldwide.
|Pink Heals Firefighters with kids backstage|