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Tuesday, December 18 , 2018, 4:32 am | Fair 47º

 
 
 
 

‘Kids for a Cure’ Steps Up for Cancer Research

9-year-old Madison Lewandowski spearheads the fundraiser and brings in nearly $3,000.

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Face painting was one of many activities offered at the June 6 “Kids for a Cure” fundraiser for pediatric cancer research. (Leon Scott Baxter Lewandowski photo)

“Kids for a Cure,” a June 6 fundraiser for funding pediatric cancer research, was a big success.

It started off as a simple idea: Local children would bring toys and items they no longer needed and sell them at the largest children-run rummage sale in the history of Santa Barbara.

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Cookie the Clown had a ball and made balloon animals for participants. (Leon Scott Baxter Lewandowski photo)

The idea was spearheaded by 9-year-old Madison Lewandowski. Lewandowski wanted to find a way to help find a cure for pediatric cancer, while showing other children the magic of philanthropy.

“I love helping out,” she said. “I think cancer is an important thing to try to fix. Kids sometimes don’t think that they can help big things like cancer, but I want to show them, and the adults, that we really can.”

Lewandowski has raised money in the past for victims of Hurricane Katrina and for nonprofit organizations such as Girls Inc. She even donates a portion of the profits from her business, Maddie’s Monkey Business, to a different charity each season.

The sale quickly grew from a market in March to a full-on event by June 7. Pre-teen band “The Newcats” played music. Storyteller Michael Katz weaved his tales. Cookie the Clown made balloon animals. Bill Connell (the Surf Dog Guy) fed the crowd. Congresswoman Lois Capps inspired attendees with a rousing speech. There was a raffle, a silent auction, face painting and an origami table.

The event, at the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, raised nearly $3,000. Capps was so inspired that she spoke to Congress about a bill she’s pushing that addresses pediatric cancer research. On Capitol Hill, she mentioned Lewandowski and Kids for a Cure.

Leon Scott Baxter Lewandowski represents the “Kids for a Cure” event.

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