Tuesday, June 19 , 2018, 9:17 pm | Fair 62º

 
 
 
 

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation Launches 4th Annual Gold Ribbon Campaign for Childhood Cancer at Museum

Gold Ribbon Campaign Sponsor Wyatt Taylor, Gold Ribbon Campaign Presenting Sponsor Earl Minnis, TBCF Board Chair Donna Barranco Fisher, Gold Ribbon Campaign Sponsor Paloma Angel, Santa Barbara Natural
History Museum President and CEO Luke Swetland and TBCF Executive Director Lindsey Leonard. Click to view larger
Gold Ribbon Campaign Sponsor Wyatt Taylor, Gold Ribbon Campaign Presenting Sponsor Earl Minnis, TBCF Board Chair Donna Barranco Fisher, Gold Ribbon Campaign Sponsor Paloma Angel, Santa Barbara Natural History Museum President and CEO Luke Swetland and TBCF Executive Director Lindsey Leonard. (Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation photo)

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation launched its 4th Annual Gold Ribbon Campaign, held in recognition of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September. The foundation was right on time, hosting its Kick Off Luncheon the first day of September on the grounds of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

After a salad, pizza and sandwich lunch, eaten outdoors under the oak trees, the guests walked to the Museum Amphitheatre for the program, where various speakers described the campaign, as well as the mission of the foundation.

The Gold Ribbon Campaign aims to increase awareness about pediatric cancer and how it affects families and to bring attention to the critical role TBCF plays in supporting families in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties that have a child battling cancer.

The goal is to raise $300,000 by year end to meet the demand for TBCF’s emotional, educational and financial support programs, which assist families of children with cancer up to age 21.

Lindsey Leonard, TBCF executive director, told the crowd, “This year we have set the highest goal to date of $300,000. I am happy to report that we have already raised $120,000 towards that goal. Since the end of July, we have 50 percent more families who have requested our help than last year. Last year, TBCF supported a record 158 families and, since we were founded, has granted more than $1.6 million in financial assistance. It is heartbreaking to learn of a child being diagnosed or passing from cancer.”

Board President Donna Barranco Fisher said, “I have worked with this organization for 10 years.We ask our community to join us in providing critical support to local families to help alleviate their financial and emotion burden.”

Barranco Fisher then recognized board and committee members as well as Campaign Presenting Sponsor Earl and Claudia Minnis and family.

Also speaking during the program was Paloma Angel, a teenager, who started her speech with the quote, “An individual does not get cancer, the whole family does.”

She continued, “I started volunteering by making crafts for the children, then I helped with mailings. Now I am raising money for the Gold Ribbon Campaign. I am happy to say that I raised $2,500 for the Gold Ribbon Campaign. Go bold, go gold!”

The Campaign culminates with the Gold Ribbon Luncheon, held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016, at the Coral Casino in Montecito.

The event will honor Carla and Shaun Tomson with the Heart of Gold Award; Cottage Children’s Medical Center, Humanitarian Award; Pati Kern, Helping Hands Award; and the Krasnoff Family, Pay It Forward Award. The event will also feature an auction, facilitated by Andrew Firestone.

TBCF’s emotional, educational and financial support programs are designed to offer wrap-around assistance to families from initial diagnosis, during treatment and into recovery.

Financial support programs help families cover basic needs, including hospital stays, rent or mortgage payments, hotel accommodations, counseling, tutoring and childcare. When needed, TBCF assists families with funeral arrangements.

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation Board Chair Donna Barranco speaks to the kickoff luncheon attendees. Click to view larger
Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation Board Chair Donna Barranco speaks to the kickoff luncheon attendees. (Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation photo)

To complement this monetary assistance, TBCF’s emotional support programs include family support groups, bereavement support groups and social events.

The gold ribbon is the universal symbol used to raise awareness about pediatric cancer. In 1997, a group of parents dedicated to mobilizing support selected gold as the cause’s color — they chose it because gold represents a precious metal and our children are precious.

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation is giving free gold pins to anyone in the community who wants to pledge their support by wearing one during the month of September. Contact TBCF at 805.962.7466 to have one mailed to you or to pick one up.

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation is the only nonprofit organization of its kind providing financial and emotional support to families of children with cancer living in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties.

Services are provided to families that have a child diagnosed with cancer up to age 18 and continue until they reach 21 years of age.

For more information, visit www.teddybearcancerfoundation.org or call 805.962.7466.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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