Sunday, October 7, 2012

Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation

On Wednesday, September 26th, I began my hectic weekend of appearances at The Secret Garden, where the Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation (AWOCCF) was hosting a "Tangled" themed benefit. I learned about AWOCCF at the Richmond County Fair, when I had met Courtenay from Bella Magazine, who supports the organization. This foundation raises money to "financially and emotionally support families of critically ill children and to fund medical research for pediatric cancers and improvements in chemotherapy and alternative therapies."The founder, Dena Sherwood, created AWOCCF in August 2009, after her son was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma and she realized that Childhood Cancer Research funding had been cut.
Upon arriving at The Secret Garden, my mom and I received a grand tour of the spa. Even though it is close to my school, I had never been inside, and I was pleasantly surprised by all of the gorgeous rooms. I could definitely go for a nice massage in the "Jungle Room" or a pedicure on their giant couch!
We then made our way to the back room, where the fundraiser was in full swing. It was there that we met two new friends who are involved in AWOCCF and TheTruth365. They told us a little more about the foundation and why they are so important today. All around the room were boards which had facts on them about childhood cancer. I was shocked by all of the information! Did you know that even with insurance coverage, a cancer family will have out-of-pocket expenses of about $40,000 per year - not including travel? Or did you know that every school day 46 children are diagnosed? It is for these reasons that we need organizations like AWOCCF who are fighting to gain back funding to help these children.
The event included hair braiding and massages, of which all the proceeds were donated. There were also raffle baskets and "Pumpkins and Petunias" Children's Boutique who donated 15% of their proceeds. I had fun browsing the merchandise and speaking with the guests. I hope they raised a lot of money because they really deserve the support!
Want more information about this amazing foundation? Visit and get involved! You know that I will definitely be working with them, again.

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