Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Blog

Painted Owl supports Cookies for Kids’ Cancer

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Good Cookies @ 10:13 am June 28, 2011

Today, Painted Owl owner Suzanne McLaughlin shares her vision as well as why she decided to support Cookies for Kids’ Cancer in the month of June. Thank you, Suzanne! Everyone at Cookies is looking forward to working with Painted Owl again soon!

My daughter Madeline and her dad were making cinnamon rolls one sunny winter morning.  While spreading the butter and sugar mixture on top of an enormous slab of dough, Maddi proclaimed as she rolled her eyes and licked her lips, “It’s all about the sugar!”  What a great idea for kids apparel we thought–celebrating all the things that make their world go ’round.  And yes, sugar is one of them.

While planning and creating Painted Owl I envisioned a company with a true purpose.  There was never a question that I would give back somehow.  Since Painted Owl is a company inspired by our children it was only obvious to give back to children.  We feature a different children’s charity each month hoping to increase awareness for these organizations.  3% of our profits for that month are donated to that featured charity.  Our June featured children’s charity is Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

I was specifically looking for a children’s charity that focused on pediatric cancer.  I was really drawn to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer because of the bake sale theme to raise money.  The dedication that Liam’s parents had to their son Liam and other children with cancer everywhere was amazing. I LOVE that Cookies for Kids’ Cancer encourages kids to help raise money while educating them about the importance of funding pediatric cancer research.

Suzanne McLaughlin

Founder, Painted Owl

5 Reasons to Host a Summer Bake Sale

Filed under: Bake Sale,Uncategorized — The Good Cookies @ 3:28 pm June 19, 2011

5. Beat the heat with a Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Bake Sale. Try poolside at a swim meet or community celebration. Take part in a summer arts or music festival with a fun bake sale. Celebrate July 4th with a red, white, and blue-themed event. And you don’t have to heat up the house to raise funds for pediatric cancer. Chocolate covered pretzels are year-round favorites and require zero baking.

4. Keep KIDS busy. School is out and kids need something fun and productive to keep their minds and hands active. Let your kids help you organize the event – make the signs, bake the cookies, and encourage supporters to give. Why not fill your time this summer with a fun, meaningful project that gets kids helping other kids?

3. Inspire others with your event. Throughout the summer, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer will post pictures of recent bake sales on Facebook for all our supporters to see. We’ll share tips and success from summer events while using photos to inspire others to get involved. Be a part of the fun and inspiration with your own event.

2. TREATS for summer Bake Sale hosts! Register and host your event, then send us your favorite photos for Facebook. During the weeks of July 4th, July 18th, August 1st, and August 15th, we’ll encourage all our supporters to “like” our summertime photos. At the end of each week, pictures with the most “likes” will receive fun gift packs from our friends at Glad to Give and Built NY. To participate, send your bake sale pictures to

1. BECAUSE EVERY SINGLE DAY, KIDS ARE STILL FIGHTING CANCER. For as long as kids are fighting for their lives, we will be raising funds, one bake sale at a time. Join us as we raise funds for new, safer treatments for pediatric cancer to help all kids have the summer they deserve.

Thank you for supporting Cookies for Kids’ Cancer 365 days a year. Keep baking, keep fundraising, and keep fighting for all kids.

For the good of their children. . .

Filed under: childhood cancer research — The Good Cookies @ 7:57 am June 12, 2011

One of Prince Liam’s beloved preschool teachers, Lisa Schalk, volunteered to share the news about Cookies for Kids’ Cancer during the Tribeca Family Festival. She shared her experiences with the Cookies team and we wanted to share them with you. Thank you, Lisa, for loving Liam and loving Cookies and for finding the perfectly sweet way to share the Cookies message.

Many families with young, healthy children would rather not think about pediatric cancer. It’s not that they’re bad people. It’s that they are consumed with raising their own children – a complex adventure to say the least. And let’s face it, pediatric cancer is a painful place to go.

Understandably, most people don’t want to put cancer and children in the same sentence, even though the reality is that any family with young, healthy children could be faced with cancer at any point. Cancer doesn’t send a calling card. It’s not something that’s planned or arranged. It can just show up, unannounced and unwelcome. But for many families, it’s too scary to embrace this reality…and too overwhelming to take on a cause that doesn’t directly affect them.

Unfortunately, families with young children who are fighting cancer don’t have the luxury of choice. They don’t want to go there either, but they have to. They have to for the good of their children.

I am a nursery school teacher who went there because one of my students, Liam Witt, fought neuroblastoma for over half his life and finally succumbed to it this past January. Over the years, I came to know Liam’s family and, of course, I came to know about Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. I recently volunteered by heading down to Manhattan’s Tribeca Family Festival to a ‘Cookies’ booth to spread the word about the organization. No cookies–just literature, stickers, coloring sheets for children, sidewalk chalk, and good intentions. After spending about an hour there, I stumbled upon a way to engage more families in the crusade against pediatric cancer.

Rewind tape: It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon in April in New York City. Droves of young families are pushing strollers and walking children of various pre-teens up and down Manhattan’s Greenwich Avenue at the Tribeca Family Festival that occurs in conjunction with the famed Tribeca Film Festival. Lining each side of the street are musicians, dancers, face painters, and booths hawking free popcorn, reasonably priced crab cakes, and organic cotton children’s clothing. And then there’s me, along with a handful of additional volunteers, at the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer table.

Armed with pamphlets and sheets of “I’m a Good Cookie” stickers, I put on my best smile and attempt to make eye contact with moms walking by. I try out a number of entrée questions:

“Want to learn more about a fantastic organization that’s fighting kids’ cancer?”

“Can I tell you about an incredible organization that is raising money for pediatric cancer research, which as you may or may not know is vastly under-funded?”

“Hi, I am a preschool teacher. Want to know how you can help kids who have cancer by just baking cookies?”

None of these hooks catch many fish. I read the faces of the parents who pass me by, noting the cloud of emotions that register upon hearing the ‘C’ word (cancer) attached to the other ‘C’ word (children). I feel that my questions are a pin prick in the bubble of their pursuit of family happiness on a Sunday afternoon. I see the discomfort wash over them as they say, “No thanks,” and I can understand it. How can I reach them in a way that is respectful and true to my cause? And then an idea comes to me, and I re-shape my question.

“Hi, can I tell you about a fantastic opportunity for you to introduce your children to community service? It’s a hands-on way to empower your children to help other children who need their help.”

Well, can I tell you that people stopped? They listened. Families who want to do the right thing, families that flood phone lines of soup kitchens every Thanksgiving, eager to serve on food lines so they can teach their children about values and the virtues of generosity, stopped to hear how they could help their children become better human beings. For the good of their children, they stopped and listened.

I explained to them how they and they children could host bake sales in their neighborhoods, at their schools, through their PTA’s, at their summer camps–all to benefit Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Not only can children relate to cookies, they can help bake, package and sell cookies. It is literally a hands-on opportunity for children to become part of the solution to a problem that plagues way too many children in today’s world. What a positive way for families to nurture the seeds of empathy in their young children, and introduce them to the ways philanthropy and activism!

If families with young children bring this mission to their elementary and middle schools, children themselves can bring it to their high schools and colleges – becoming foot soldiers in the battle against pediatric cancer. Not only are such undertakings key to building a solid foundation in the making of good citizens, they also look great on college applications and future resumes.

Simply put, involving families and young children in Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a win-win opportunity from any perspective – no matter how the cookie crumbles.

Cookies Grants $700,000 to Top Pediatric Cancer Centers

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer announced $700,000 in grants to support the development of new treatments in the fight against pediatric cancer. The funds will go to five institutions across the country for clinical research to accelerate new therapies to the clinic in the form trials that show great promise in the treatment of pediatric cancers.

The current grant cycle released awards in four areas – Acute Lymphatic Leukemia, Langerhans Cell Histiocytis, brain tumors, and soft tissue tumors including Neuroblastoma, one of the deadliest forms of pediatric cancer which accounts for 15 percent of all pediatric cancer deaths. Awards go to five research centers: Texas Children’s Cancer Center, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Today pediatric cancer is the number one disease killer of children under the age of 18 in the U.S. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer’s grants are awarded through the foundation’s Medical Advisory Board which is comprised of top researchers in the field of pediatric cancer from the nation’s leading pediatric cancer research institutions.

“Philanthropy plays a critical and essential role in the ongoing battle against childhood cancer,” commented Dr. John Maris of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a member of the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Medical Advisory Board. “Philanthropic investment in key pediatric cancer research programs will provide the essential catalyst to make more discoveries and move them to improving cure rates as quickly as possible, and a partnership between researchers and ‘investors’ in this mission will be critical to expand in order to make a difference now.”

“Our focus is on funding the most promising clinical trials,” Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Founder Gretchen Witt said. “We have always believed that if people learn about the need for funding, they will support the cause. These grants represent the support of thousands of people who have held bake sales, bought cookies and believed, like we do, that we can and will make a difference in the lives of children battling cancer. We are very excited about the possibilities these therapies hold and look forward to seeing them move from the lab to the clinic as quickly as possible.”

These grants represent the first of two grant cycles for 2011. The foundation plans to award additional grants in September in recognition of Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer was founded in 2008 by Gretchen and Larry Witt who were inspired by their son Liam’s courageous battle against pediatric cancer. After learning about the lack of effective therapies, the Witts pledged to support the development of new and less toxic treatments by giving people a simple way to get involved. Through Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, individuals, communities and businesses are inspired to join the fight by hosting bake sales and other events to get involved in pediatric cancer research. Tragically, the Witts’ son Liam came to the end of his four year battle with cancer earlier this year.