The Tomorrow Fund, the only local nonprofit organization that provides daily financial and emotional support to children with cancer and their families, will hold its 35th Annual Gala to further raise awareness and funds toward forwarding its mission.
This year’s event will be held on Saturday, November 4th, at the Rhodes on the Pawtuxet in Cranston, from 6:00 PM until 11:00 PM. The night will feature a live and silent auction, dinner and dancing, and other activities.
Executive Director Lisa Abbenante said that their signature event typically draws over 500 guests. This year’s theme is “An Evening at the Derby.” She noted how some guests really put forth the effort to adhere to the event’s theme. That can be a show unto itself.
She noted the impact the Fund has had in helping struggling families.
“To date, well over 2,000 children and their families have received our support. This ranges from assisting with the financial burden of home and life expenses such as mortgages, rents, and utility bills, to paid hospital parking passes for the duration of treatment, fertility
preservation, scholarships, survivorship support, funeral expenses, and so much more,” Abbenante explained.
The Fund’s executive director discussed how the financial, physical, and emotional tolls cancer places on families can be monumental. Not only does the patient face challenges, but so does the family, including the responsibility to ensure their child attends each and every appointment and treatment session. This can be both exhausting and financially draining. For example, parking can cost thousands of dollars for families. Fortunately, The Tomorrow Fund provides paid parking, thus, defraying these costs from the time of diagnosis, throughout the duration of their treatment.
One of the emotional programs The Tomorrow Fund provides is a week-long summer camp for patients and their siblings that involve numerous activities and special events. Part of The Tomorrow Fund’s goal is taking the entire family into consideration, when it comes to treatment and programs.
“Siblings often feel not only left out, but anxious and overwhelmed by the entire process,” Abbenante explained. “In an effort to maintain family bonds, we offer many family activities that involve everyone.”
Along with family activities, The Tomorrow Fund’s support goes beyond, by providing financial aid and support, assisting with mortgages/rents, utilities, food, and other essentials. That is because the financial impact of treating a child with cancer can be unbearable.
The Annual Gala offers various sponsorship levels, with accompanying benefits, such as tickets to attend the event, name recognition, and signage, during the event. She noted its possibility with the continued support of prior year sponsors, and the hope of the addition of new companies and individuals.
“We can all make a difference and support the Mission,” she said.
In keeping with the Derby theme, the sponsorship levels are in tune with horse racing. From the “Thoroughbred” ($3,000) Level to their “Millionaire’s Row” Level (minimum $25,000), the perks range from event signage and website presence, to advertising space in their program to event tickets.
Additionally, The Fund seeks auction items from vendors, local businesses, and individuals. Past items included trips, sports and celebrity memorabilia, gift baskets, and restaurant gift cards.
Abbenante said that while people are there to have fun, they are also making a tremendous difference by helping make better lives for children with cancer.
“These are brave boys and girls battling cancer. Not only are they fighters, but so are their entire families. There’s so much they all go through, both emotionally and physically. By supporting The Tomorrow Fund and this event, you will be making a difference for these patients and their families,” Abbenante said.
Events such as The Gala are also important for funding their services and programs. Without them, it makes what they do impossible.
“We are so fortunate to have a dedicated group of people, ranging from the office and medical staff to volunteers, all enabling families to focus solely on their child’s treatment,” said Abbenante. “We are a separate and independent organization, relying on fundraisers, grants, and the generosity of the community for funding, as we support every child diagnosed with cancer who is treated at Hasbro Children’s Hospital (in Providence).”
Tickets for the Gala will be available through the organization’s website www.tomorrowfund.org. The website will also help people learn more about the event sponsorships, volunteering opportunities, donating, and the The Fund’s work to provide assistance to children diagnosed with cancer and their families.
The Tomorrow Fund is a local, independent 501(c) (3) nonprofit charity, providing daily financial and emotional support to children with cancer and their families. While their charity is specifically focused on children treated in the pediatric oncology program at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and The Tomorrow Fund Clinic, their organization receives no funding from Hasbro Children’s Hospital. They rely entirely on the generous support of donors and supporters to help ease the enormous burden parents face with pediatric cancer.
In 1985, The Tomorrow Fund founders, a group that included doctors, teachers, child development experts, and parents, recognized that children with cancer and their families needed additional assistance beyond medical care to cope with the many challenges that accompany this disease.
For more information about The Tomorrow Fund and/or to contribute to their Signature Event, please call Lisa Abbenante at (401) 444-8811 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.