The 2017 Valerie Fund Walk & JAG Physical Therapy 5K Run was a wonderful success! On Saturday, June 10th, 4,500 people joined us at Essex County's Verona Park for a day of remembrance, hope and strength.
New supporters of the event this year included samples from Yasso frozen yogurt, Philly Pretzel Factory, and a visit from the Montclair Art Museum (MAM) mobile art studio. Long time supporters and WCBS-TV's very own John Elliot and Vanessa Murdock conducted live interviews with Valerie Fund patients.
Earlier on CBS Sunday Morning, Communications Director, Bunny Flanders, and Valerie Fund patient, Matthew, promoted the Walk and The Valerie Fund's mission to the station's vast audience. Gallant Entertainment returned this year for a crowd-pumping drumline performance at the start of the Walk.
This year's patient speaker was 18 year-old Sara. Sara was diagnosed with ALL as a young child and has been in remission for 12 years. During her speech, Sara reflected on the three and a half years she was treated at The Valerie Fund, how her family and friends helped her get through such a difficult time, and how cancer shaped the person she is today. She will be attending the University of Maryland in the Fall.
"To the Valerie Fund and all its supporters here, I am eternally grateful for all the help you have offered the thousands of other kids and me. I hope that as I get older I continue draw on the strength and toughness my battles with this disease helped me develop. And I hope that I continue to do all I can to support the The Valerie Fund Centers."
The Walk hosted 204 teams this year, and teams from all seven centers participated. First year teams, Annie's Army and Gavin's Gang, each had over 100 members and the top 10 teams raised $186,000.
This year's event raised over $935,000, bringing the total to $6,250,000 since the Walk first broke one million dollars in 2012. Thank you to all of those who attended and supported our Valerie Fund kids.
ABOUT THE VALERIE FUND: After their nine-year-old daughter Valerie succumbed to cancer in 1976, Sue and Ed Goldstein were determined that no family should have to travel great distances to receive state-of-the-art medical care. Today, more than 6,000 children with cancer and blood disorders benefit immeasurably by receiving their medical treatment close to home in a child-centered environment. The Valerie Fund ensures they do not have to rely on insurance reimbursements to receive a range of customized therapeutic services that enhance their quality of life. For more information, please visit www.thevaleriefund.org.