Nearly 150 area residents joined the fight against children’s cancer at a fundraiser sponsored by From Maddi’s Closet at Dodger Stadium recently.
“From Maddi’s Closet’s dinner event at the Stadium Club at Dodger Stadium raised over $47,000 to assist with patient support programs,” says President and Founder Donna Holmes. “We greatly appreciate the support of the individuals and organizations that contributed in so many ways to making this event such a life-changing gift for these children.”
The “Knock it Out of the Park” themed dinner was the major fundraiser for From Maddi’s Closet in 2016 in its efforts to help children fighting cancer. In recent years, the local non-profit group has donated more than $361,000 to help with children’s cancer research and provide emotional and financial support to thousands of patients and their families.
After a delicious Stadium Club dinner, attendees enjoyed an exclusive Stadium tour, which included access to the Vin Scully Press Box, the 5th floor Memorabilia Aisle, the Dodger Awards Hallway, the Dugout, Bullpen, as well as a walk around the playing field. The group also enjoyed a special reception with former Dodger players Wes Parker and Mickey Hatcher.
Participants donated generously to supply special needs equipment for young patients. Silent and Live Auctions of items supplied by businesses and individuals were also an important means for raising funds during the evening.
“Childhood cancer is the number one disease-related killer of children in our country, and we appreciate our local community’s strong support for the fight against this terrible disease,” says Holmes.
Several major awards were presented at the event to individuals and organizations that have championed efforts to fight children’s cancer.
Sandra Dottlinger, volunteer extraordinaire, and Kathryn Riley, Executive Director of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, California Chapter, were honored with the 2016 Love, Hope & Joy Award recognizing outstanding contributions by an individual to improve the lives of children battling cancer. Both recipients are mothers of a child confronted with the challenges of cancer who have learned the immense value of family-to-family support during their child’s treatment and chosen to extend an emotional lifeline to other families.
Two Spirit of Care Awards were presented at this year’s event recognizing the outstanding commitment made by medical institutions to provide quality of care to the children battling cancer. George Weiss, Director of Administration at the Children’s Center for Cancer & Blood Diseases accepted the honor for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Steven Neudorf, M.D., Clinical Director, Blood Marrow Transplant Program at the Hyundai Cancer Institute accepted for Children’s Hospital Orange County.
Organizations ‘stepping up to the plate’ to contribute to the success of the event included: The Capital Group Companies (Signature Event Sponsor), Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Children’s Hospital Orange County, PIP Santa Fe Springs, Details Business Organizers, Gerald Roodzant, D.D.S., Harris Marriage and Family Therapy, Inc., R.K. Knight Plumbing & Rooter, Michael Winter, D.D.S., L.A. CADA, Temple Beth Ohr, Pediatric Dental Specialists, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Whittier Hospital Medical Center.
Members of the La Mirada City Council attending the event were Mayor Steve De Ruse and Mayor Pro Tem Ed Eng.
Members of the Whittier City Council attending the event were Mayor Joe Vinatieri and Council Member Fernando Dutraa.
From Maddi’s Closet is a local nonprofit organization started more than a decade ago after Madison Leslie Holmes lost her battle with cancer at four years of age.
Maddi’s family and friends began the organization to carry on the extraordinary spirit of generosity and compassion the young girl showed to other children fighting cancer. Despite her illness, Maddi befriended other children undergoing treatment, giving her own toys and clothing to those in need. She urged her family to sit with other children who were more sick, frightened or lonely when they had no family members at the hospital.
Participation in From Maddi’s Closet has grown since its early days, and its efforts to support children with cancer have broadened. Funds are raised for pediatric cancer research, and the group offers support to ill children and their families whose emotional and financial needs are unmet by other assistance programs. The group provides many services – from an annual toy drive to events and activities geared for patients at Children’s Hospitals in Orange County and Los Angeles.
From Maddi’s Closet also involves children in helping children. A Junior Advisory Board composed of middle school and high school students represents the organization at many public events, operates public awareness booths, hosts inpatient and outpatient projects, and assists at the annual We Can Family Camp for children with cancer.
The honorary committee for the event included: Robert and Virginia Ball; La Mirada Mayor Steve DeRuse and Mary Ann DeRuse; La Mirada Mayor Pro-Tem Ed Eng and Catherine Eng; Whittier Mayor Joe Vinatieri; Whittier Council Member Fernando Dutra and Mary Dutra; Ross Gile, DigiCal; Chris Hardeman, President of the Whittier Chamber of Commerce and DialMED Home Care; Randy and Joyce Herbon, Relay for Life; Harry and Victoria Jacobs; former La Mirada Councilmember Steve Jones and Janis Jones; Tom Robinson, TR Management Services, Inc., and Priscilla Robinson; Dr. Gerald Roodzant, DDS; Janice Roodzant, Details Business Organizer; and Kelly and Stephanie Warner, Pastors Whittier Area Community Church. The master of ceremonies for the program was Los Angeles Dodgers representative Alex Gregory Romero.
From Maddi’s Closet carries its message about the battle against children’s cancer to local groups. Holmes has spoken with local Chambers of Commerce, service clubs, businesses and numerous other community organizations. She is available to speak to groups that are interested in learning more about the importance of working together to improve the lives of children and families facing this difficult battle. Persons interested in additional information on the fight against children’s cancer may visit frommaddiscloset.org.
ABOUT FROM MADDI’S CLOSET -- A CHILD SHOWS THE WAY
A decade ago, a small child awakened her family and friends to the needs of other children suffering from cancer. Despite her own challenges, her compassionate actions during treatment made her loved ones aware of the fear and pain afflicting so many children around them.
Three year old Madison Leslie Holmes taught her family to see others' needs, care for them, comfort them, and share with others. The way Maddi lived showed they must do something, no matter how small, to help children needing comfort and hope during their battles with cancer.
Today, From Maddi's Closet provides emotional and financial assistance to children suffering from cancer and their families. The non-profit organization also provides funding to support research efforts to find a cure for this terrible disease.