Pediatric Cancer Foundation (PCF) is an amazing organization dedicated to raising funds for research to support doctors and hospitals in an effort to eradicate childhood cancer. We spoke to Pamela Strauss Peligri, President of PCF (and local mom of two teenage boys!) about PCF Walks! – the group’s first annual fundraising walk on April 24th at Brunswick School in Greenwich Connecticut. In addition to raising funds for such an important cause, PCF Walks! will honor Stamford local and pediatric cancer warrior, Katie Kennedy and her family.
For anyone who may not be familiar with PCF can you tell us a little more about it?
PCF is a nonprofit charitable organization that raises funds for groundbreaking research and early phase clinical trials to eradicate childhood cancer. These trials are conducted by world renowned doctors at the hospitals we support. In the past 50 years, PCF has distributed close to $20 million dollars to doctors and researchers who have been instrumental in increasing the cure rate for pediatric cancer from 58% to over 80% today!
That’s incredible! How do you raise funds?
As a nonprofit, PCF does not receive any federal funding. Our organization relies solely on the generosity of individuals, family foundations and corporations. We hold events of different sizes throughout the year, everything from bake sales and hot cocoa stands run by our teenage members, to large holiday gift boutiques and our marquee PCF Walks! in April.
How did the pandemic affect your events and fundraising?
Like everyone else, we have had to remain nimble and adapt our events throughout the pandemic. We were able to move some of our events online, some we held outdoors. Sadly, we have not been able to hold our annual gala for the past few years. Not only is the gala our biggest fund raiser of the year, it is also a wonderful night of entertainment and community. We are looking forward to bringing it back soon!
We are so fortunate to have a Board of Directors that is incredibly generous, both in their time commitment and their financial support of our mission. Different members take the lead on different events throughout the year. For PCF Walks! we are thrilled that PCF board member Jay Canell and his wife Sari, and Neill Canell and his wife Loren are our event sponsors.
Can you tell us more about PCF Walks!?
The Walk is on April 24th at Brunswick School in Greenwich, CT. It is going to be a great day of family fun, entertainment, food, raffles and more! Registration is easy. People can sign up as individuals or as a family, they can join a team or create one of their own with a team fundraising goal. We have many children (including my own!) who are forming teams and walking with their friends and family. It really is a special way to teach our children about giving back and raising money to help others. Our mantra for the Walk is #kidshelpingkids and it’s something my planning committee chairs and I really take to heart. Our goal is to raise $500,000 for pediatric cancer research.
That sounds like a terrific family event! Can you tell us more about your special honorees?
Yes! We are so proud to have an incredible honoree, Katie Kennedy. Katie is a Stamford resident and a 2nd grader at Greenwich Academy. Her father Mike is a teacher at Brunswick School. When Katie was in kindergarten she was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma. With the support of her family and friends — and the entire Brunswick School and Greenwich Academy communities — Katie stood strong in her battle, bravely withstood months of chemotherapy and radiation, and defiantly kicked cancer to the curb on July 10, 2020!
PCF was instrumental in funding the doctors who treated Katie, in particular, Dr. Alice Lee and Dr. Stergios Zachouralis, of Columbia University Medical Center.
We are honored that Katie and her family are playing such a big role in PCF Walks!
How can people support your mission?
There are several ways to support our mission – sign up to walk with your family and friends, make a donation or sponsor the walk. Please visit our PCF Walks! event page for all of the event and sponsorship details.
Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
We are very excited to bring this family-fun event to our Fairfield and Westchester County communities. From all of us at Pediatric Cancer Foundation, we invite you to join us, as we are…coming together for a cure.