Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Blog


Filed under: Uncategorized — The Good Cookies @ 6:14 am November 8, 2012


Funds also Support Children’s Oncology Group Phase 1 Clinical Trial Costs

CALIFON, NJ – Nov. 8, 2012 – Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a national not-for-profit organization, announces 2012 grants totaling $1.15 million to advance research for pediatric cancer, the number one disease killer of children under the age of 18 in the U.S. A portion of the funds will also be used to match Federal Government dollars allocated per child to cover Children’s Oncology Group Phase 1 trial costs.

“Most people are not aware of how little funding is directed towards pediatric cancer research,” stated Gretchen Witt, founder of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. “The assumption is that we as a nation would be doing everything we can to battle the disease that takes the lives of more children than any other. The reality of the situation couldn’t be further from the truth. Today there are still some types of childhood cancers that see more children losing their battle than winning and those who win pay a tremendous cost of long-term side effects from toxic treatments. But science can’t move forward without one critical element: Funding. As one of my son’s doctors said to me, it’s not necessarily science that’s holding us back but funding for research.”

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer’s Medical Advisory Board, which is comprised of top researchers in the field of pediatric cancer, are from five partner centers around the country that are dedicated to the discovery of new and improved treatments for children with cancer. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is proud to award grants to each of these five partner centers, which include 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.

“Cookies for Kids’ Cancer’s support will help important research initiatives move forward. Time is of the essence in the development of novel therapies for childhood cancer and these grants will help important clinical research initiatives for childhood cancer expeditiously move forward,” stated Susan M. Blaney, MD, Vice Chair of the Children’s Oncology Group and Deputy Director of Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers.

According to the National Cancer Institute, 60 percent of children under the age of 15 are treated for cancer in clinical trials, compared to about 2 percent of patients 20 to 39 years old. Participation of more children in clinical trials will help improve treatment, survival, and understanding of the types of cancers that occur in patients in this age group.

To ensure that an even greater number of children with pediatric cancer receive the care needed, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has also announced their support of the Children’s Oncology Group’s Phase 1 & Pilot Consortium. Comprised of 21 premier pediatric oncology programs throughout the country, the Consortium serves as an international model for new agent development in pediatric oncology. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer will match dollar for dollar the allowance per child enrolled  to the Children’s Oncology Group’s Phase 1 & Pilot Consortium with a goal of expanding the Phase 1 trials available in the nation and giving more children treatment options in their fight against pediatric cancer.

Dr. Peter Adamson, chair of the Children’s Oncology Group explains, “Cookies for Kids’ Cancer’s support of the Children’s Oncology Group Phase 1 Consortium will help us accelerate our efforts to develop important new treatments for children with cancer. We greatly appreciate the generosity of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, and of all those who have made this possible.”

The funds granted by Cookies for Kids’ Cancer were made possible through the support of thousands of volunteers, donors, bake sales and other event hosts and corporate sponsors, including Glad, OXO, Uline, Bank of America, and King Arthur Flour. Since 2008, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has awarded nearly $4 million in grants to further their mission of supporting promising pediatric cancer research.

“With only 2% of the entire budget from the National Institutes of Health going to pediatric cancer research, funding for research is desperately needed. When we learned that our support of the COG Phase 1 Clinical trials could make a marked difference, we moved quickly to support the need,” says Larry Witt, President of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.  “Our foundation and loyal supporters are now matching federal funds directed to COG phase 1 clinical studies at key centers across the country. Our support dramatically lessens the financial burden on the centers themselves who often need to raise funds to cover upwards of 80% of the cost of each trial they offer. Our support will also make it possible to increase the number of trials available, trial locations, as well as the number of patient slots open at any given time. Factors that should lead to accelerated study results and in turn to improved lifesaving therapy options for all kids fighting all types of pediatric cancer.”


Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a recognized 501(c)3,was founded in 2008 by Gretchen and Larry Witt, who were inspired by their young son Liam’s courageous battle against pediatric cancer. Through the concept of local bake sales and online cookie sales, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer inspires individuals, organizations, and businesses to join in the fight against pediatric cancer by raising the funds and awareness necessary to provide more families with the hope they deserve. Thousands of bake sales and other events, raising millions of dollars, have been held in all 50 states, as well as 13 countries including Puerto Rico, Canada and the U.K. – making Cookies for Kids’ Cancer’s mission of funding pediatric cancer research possible. Tragically, Liam Witt lost his four-year battle but he and all children fighting childhood cancer continues to be the organizations’ inspiration. For more information about Cookies for Kids’ Cancer visit, and follow on Facebook at and on Twitter @cookies4kids.

Because of You

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Good Cookies @ 12:00 am

Dear Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Supporter,

We are writing today to share with you our latest news – that because of you, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is granting $1.15 million to research into new, improved and less toxic therapies in the fight against pediatric cancer. This is our latest and largest round of grants and we couldn’t be more proud or humble. These funds will go to five of the top pediatric cancer research centers in the nation – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Texas Children’s Cancer Center, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Along with grants for research, we are expanding our reach by partnering with the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) to support its Phase 1 Clinical Trial Consortium with a grant that matches, dollar for dollar, the Federal Government allowance per child enrolled in a Phase 1 trial. This partnership will ensure that more children will be enrolled in more clinical trials and have access to cutting edge research. It is research like this that keeps science moving forward and its support from people like you who helped make it happen.

The journey that led us to this announcement began five years ago. In the fall of 2007, we had what seemed like a crazy idea to bake and sell 96,000 cookies {8,000 dozen to be exact} during the holidays to raise money for a promising new treatment stuck on the shelf waiting for funding. We were not bakers. We were not activists. We were not even in the world of philanthropy. We were simply parents, inspired by our young son Liam’s battle with cancer.

Just months earlier our life as we knew it came to a screeching halt when a doctor told us that our seemingly healthy little boy had cancer. That bright February day began with Liam spending the morning at preschool, and ended with the cold, hard fact that a ruthless, cowardly disease was raging in our son’s body. Liam bravely battled back facing multiple rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, antibody therapy and surgeries. And as parents, we not only stood guard over Liam, ushering him through treatments, we also learned about the battle all kids diagnosed face against the #1 disease killer of children in our country.

We learned that there is a lack of safe, effective therapies for children battling cancer, and that there is one simple reason for the absence of treatment options: lack of funding. And so, we did the only thing we could do – we got involved. We decided it had to be our mission to help not just Liam but all children battling cancer. So  despite the lack of a proven organization, a brand people were familiar with, customers, or any reputation, we opened our online business in December 2007 with the hope of selling 96,000 to help fund this one new therapy with the belief that people would get involved in the fight against childhood cancer, if you gave them a way.

What happened next was nothing short of magical. Word of our little project spread and as people from all over the country heard the call to Be a Good Cookie, they ordered cookies – right then and there. In a matter of days, we sold out of all 96,000 cookies and at the end of the seemingly impossible project, raised over $420,000.

But that was just the beginning. Before the ovens even cooled, we heard the call to action from so many of you – the emails and phone calls kept coming in asking, “How can I keep helping? How can I get involved?” And then, because of you, we launched a national non-profit organization in September 2008. Now four years later, because of you and your support, we’ve granted nearly $4 million to support scientists in their daily mission to find new, improved and less toxic therapies for pediatric cancer.

Life has changed in these five years – Liam’s battle with cancer came to a heroic but tragic end in January of 2011, yet today, we continue the work he inspired us to start because we know he would want us to keep fighting for all children. We continue because we know so many children, too many, who are either in the battle for their lives or who have lost their battle. So today, we ask you to stand with us and stand with all children by supporting Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.  Host an event that raises money for research. Send a dozen or more cookies. Make a donation today. Every dollar counts. We’ve granted nearly $4 million and counting so far.

Thank you,

Larry, Gretchen and Ella Witt

Liam’s Daddy, Mommy, and Sister

Don’t Bake? No Problem!

Filed under: Bake Sale,Donations,Inspire,Uncategorized — The Good Cookies @ 10:51 am October 30, 2012

Don’t bake? Don’t have time to host an event?  Maria Potter is proof that you can still make a HUGE difference through a virtual bake sale!

Maria first heard about Cookies for Kids’ Cancer online when she read about the organization’s founder, Gretchen Witt. Like Gretchen, Maria also had a son diagnosed with neuroblastoma at age two.

Inspired by her son, Kasper, getting a healthy report from the doctor, Maria quickly decided to give back by supporting Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and pediatric cancer research. She chose to hold the fundraising campaign during May with Mother’s Day right around the corner. She  hoped to celebrate her thankfulness for Kasper’s good health.

“After knowing the horrors of pediatric cancer treatments first hand, I believe I can never rest until there are treatments available to save all children diagnosed,” Maria explained.

With a very tiny kitchen and little time on her hands, Maria decided to set up a giving page titled “Virtual Cookies of Hope”. She set a lofty goal of raising $10,000, hoping to inspire people to give more. Maria was overwhelmed with happiness when she had over 113 donations roll in ranging from $10 to over $2,200, bringing her total to $11,435.

Maria promoted her bake sale through Facebook and e-mails. She wrote letters explaining why she was motivated to make a difference in this organization. At the end of her fundraising campaign, Maria had yet to reach her goal. One quick, last-minute e-mail changed everything: a generous woman donated $2,220 to her giving page!

“I was touched to tears by her stunning generosity, and at the same time, I felt enormous joy to have been able to raise so much money for pediatric cancer research,” said Maria.

A few days later, Maria celebrated Mother’s Day with Kasper. She was extremely thankful for the support of so many generous people who simply wanted to bring HOPE to children like Kasper who battle pediatric cancer.

Interested in hosting your own virtual bake sale? Follow the link to create your own giving page.

A Follow Friday Giveaway

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Good Cookies @ 10:45 am October 26, 2012

Happy Follow Friday, Good Cookies!

To celebrate the ending of the week, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is hosting a GIVEAWAY. You could win:
1. An OXO travel mug valued at over $25.00
2. An OXO green spatula perfect for baking

Follow the link to enter. There, you will find THREE simple tasks to complete. The more you complete, the more entries you’ll have in the contest! Make sure to tag @cookies4kids on Twitter and Pinterest and @Cookies for Kids’ Cancer on Facebook.

1. Follow Us on Pinterest
2. Tweet About Cookies for Kids’ Cancer
3. Share a Post on Facebook About Cookies for Kids’ Cancer

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Need help with your Facebook post? Here is one!

Have you heard of @Cookies for Kids’ Cancer? Their organization is moving the needle of science by funding critical research for new and improved therapies for pediatric cancer, the leading cause of death by disease for children under the age of 18. Through the concept of local bake sales, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer provides the inspiration and support for individuals, communities, and businesses to join the fight and bring HOPE to kids battling this unrelenting disease. Follow Cookies and then register to host a bake sale:

Contest ends Sunday at midnight. The winner will be announced Monday, October 29, 2012.

Good Cookie Spotlight: Jennifer Pounders

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Good Cookies @ 11:34 am October 19, 2012

Jennifer Pounders loves chocolate chip cookies and radiates with the Good Cookie spirit.

Having known Gretchen Witt, the founder of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, Jennifer was motivated to make a difference in honor of Liam Witt, whose brave battle with cancer continues to inspire many. Jennifer was one of the many planners of the annual Richmond City-Wide Bake Sale, an event which has raised tens of thousands of dollars to fight pediatric cancer over the last few years.

“I love that one couple’s pain and determination resulted in a national rampage against childhood cancer that anyone and everyone can join,” says Jennifer about the organization’s ability to have communities host a simple, local event and make a national difference.

A city-wide bake sale takes an incredible amount of planning, but Jennifer warns that you should not let time be the reason for not hosting an event. She believes that no matter the size of the bake sale or the time put into it, that a big difference can be made.

From donations of baked goods to volunteers to multiple site locations, the Richmond bake sale hosts gained a few insights into limiting expenses for holding such a large fundraiser.

“Get your most outspoken, persuasive team member to go ask for anything and everything you need,” adds Jennifer. “Miracles happen and people will say YES! Then you will cry at the beauty of their generosity.”

Richmond’s City-Wide Bake Sale brings together the entire city. A mobile trolley takes baked goods around downtown and hosts set up in over 20 locations throughout the city town.  Customers are incredibly generous and eager to give. Sometimes people do not even ask for anything in return, just are thankful for the time and energy put into fighting pediatric cancer.

“We’re selling cookies but we often become counselors or confidants to people who are either suffering from cancer themselves or have had someone in their family diagnosed or die,” states Jennifer. “People see us a representatives of the fight against childhood cancer and cancer overall. We’re an open window, an open door – a place to share – even just for the minute that transpires while selecting and donating to our cause.”

“It feels good to be a Good Cookie…”

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Good Cookies @ 8:54 am October 15, 2012

Annie Steinberg-Joachim is a children’s party planner and the founder of Blast Events NYC. As today’s guest blogger, Annie describes how she became involved with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and how she impacted her nephew’s school  in New York City by hosting a bake sale. Look forward to more posts with event tips by Annie.

I first noticed Cookies for Kids’ Cancer on Facebook– my absolute favorite source to connect with my clients, new people and fabulous ideas across the country. A client had liked their site and I saw pictures of adorable girls with delicious cookies having a fantastic time. As a kids’ party planner, I was thrilled right away and clicked further for inspiration. That’s when I noticed it was a charity– and more than that, it was children supporting other children. I knew right away that I absolutely had to do one of these parties. No matter what, I was going to do a Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sale.

It was just a week later that I found out my nephew’s school downtown, The Léman Manhattan Preparatory School, was eager to get more involved in the community. They were looking for an event planner who would help them give back, and I was beyond excited to bring Cookies for Cancer to their attention. They agreed it was a perfect match, and I went ahead and registered my event on this website. A few days later, I had a question and I emailed the general address. Almost instantly, I was overwhelmed with kind, helpful answers from multiple women in the organization who were so excited that I was involved and couldn’t wait to find out how they could help. Never have I worked with a team as involved and helpful as the Cookies Team. They helped guide the event and made it a smooth process.

Once I began planning, I learned more about the story behind Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. As it turned out, it was the illness of Gretchen Witt’s son that moved her to put this beautiful organization together. Her son, Liam would’ve been in my nephew’s very same class at Lèman Manhattan. They shared friends. I was so touched and inspired; I was driven to put together not just a bake sale, but a celebration. I was personally invested, and completely blew up my initial idea– involved a band (courtesy of sponsor Appleseeds!), arts & crafts, games, cookie decorating, balloon animals and more. In the middle of all the fun they were having, kids would come up to our tables and mention helping children just like them– even if they didn’t exactly understand how, they knew they were helping to make a difference. My team and I met a lot of “Good Cookies” that day– from Gretchen to mothers and classmates, new neighbors, and even a local restaurant, Bobby Van’s, surprised us with a giant tray of baked goods and didn’t ask for any recognition– they just wanted to help out. It turned into not just a bake sale, but an event for the community.

My favorite part wasn’t the money we raised, but something changed inside Blast Events NYC that afternoon too. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer helps open conversations between parents and children about doing good, and even about illness. We now feel strongly about suggesting parents ask birthday guests to donate to a cause in lieu of gifts– many parents feel their child has too much “stuff” anyway. I loved the warmth I experienced from the organization and from all who participated, and I can’t wait to do it all again! It feels good to be a Good Cookie…

Can a Bandage Fight Pediatric Cancer?

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Good Cookies @ 8:06 pm October 14, 2012

Ouchies Bandages live by the motto, “Hide your boo-boo, not your style!” This company created a unique new program, Ouchies for Others, which helps in the fight against pediatric cancer and gives a portion of the profits to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

Ouchies for Others is a program that gives kids the opportunity to design their own Ouchies bandage! Kids, 18 years old or younger, are asked to create artwork that will be printed on an Ouchies for Others bandage. Submitted artwork will be publicly posted to Ouchies Facebook page.  Fans will vote by “like”-ing submitted artwork.  The top 10 submissions with the most Facebook “likes” will be judged as potential winners.  A jury will then select 5 design winners.

Follow the link to the template and official rules of the Ouchies for Others program. Your submitted design can help put a smile on the face of kids battling pediatric cancer. Enter today!

Denny’s Inspires Others to Be Good Cookies

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Good Cookies @ 7:53 am October 12, 2012

80 Denny’s Restaurants in upstate New York and Arizona are fighting pediatric cancer. Glenn and Tina Beattie from Top Line Restaurants, Inc. were inspired to raise money for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer because of the Witt Family. In the following guest blog post, Glenn and Tina talk further about their inspiration for supporting Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. For a complete list of participating Denny’s, follow the link.

Our company is proud to be a longtime supporter of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. We were deeply touched by Liam’s short but significant life and wanted to do what we could to help the fight against pediatric cancer. Little did we know how enthusiastically our customers would respond.

In May of 2011, our 28 Denny’s in Western and Central New York held month-long fundraisers for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. For each donation made, paper “cookies” were signed and hung on the walls of the diners. By the end of the month, tens of thousands of cookies lined every wall, window and door frame of our restaurants!

Thanks to our guests we raised $75,000 in just one month!! – a sum that through Cookies for Kids’ Cancer will help fund lifesaving research and treatments.

Our passion spread within the Denny’s community and this year, we have an additional 60 locations participating in our fundraiser in both New York and Arizona. With the additional restaurants and guests involved we are excited to significantly increase our financial impact.

As business owners, we are honored to partner with an amazing organization like Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and the spirit in which they are fighting pediatric cancer. As parents, we are inspired by Gretchen and Larry, and as neighbors, we are humbled by the overwhelming support of our guests who have also been touched by this cause.

One of our guests, the parent of a child with pediatric cancer, sent a letter that said coming into our restaurant with her child during our Cookies fundraiser made them both feel like they weren’t alone in the fight. And they are not. We look forward to continuing to do our part to uphold Liam’s legacy and make a difference in the lives of these brave young children.

– Glenn and Tina Beattie, Top Line Restaurants, Inc.

Why OXO Cares

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Good Cookies @ 9:34 am October 10, 2012

You may not know this, but Cookies for Kids’ Cancer founders also have day jobs working at OXO. OXO employees have been avid supporters of Cookies since day one. Read on for an open letter from OXO’s President, Alex Lee, describing why supporting pediatric cancer research is so important to OXO.

At OXO, we operate a lot like family. Together we celebrate birthdays, weddings and anniversaries just like we would with friends and loved ones – because we TRULY regard one another as friends and loved ones. On May 13, 2004 we were overcome with excitement at the arrival of Liam Witt, the beautiful son of two long-time OXOnians, Gretchen and Larry Witt. On January 24, 2011 we were overcome with grief at his passing.

Liam was a fixture in our office, and not just at company events (though it was always fun to guess which superhero he would be for Halloween). It was rare for a week to go by without a visit from Liam and his sister, Ella. He instinctively followed OXO’s philosophy to question everything and was always willing (sometimes too willing) to test products and give his honest (sometimes TOO honest) feedback. We often raced around the office on our respective scooters and he beat me most of the time –  it must have been because his scooter had three wheels while mine only has two!

Gretchen and Larry’s loss was our loss, too.

In 2007, when Gretchen had the ‘just so crazy it might work’ idea for a bake sale, we rallied together to support her efforts. We were there alongside Gretchen and Larry as they sold 96,000 cookies and raised over $420,000. When that bake sale turned into Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, OXO employees did whatever we could to help – bake cookies, write thank-you letters, tie ribbons, and of course, host an annual bake sale – because that’s what family does. We support one another.

For a number of years, we researched a cause that we, as a corporation, could align ourselves behind. Ironically, it was Gretchen who initially led the charge. In the end, it kept coming back to one thing: We wanted to support a philanthropy that OXO employees were truly passionate about, one that had impacted each of us personally and profoundly. There was no other choice than Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

In the first year of our partnership with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, our work inspired others to help us build awareness and funds for Pediatric Cancer Research, to the tune of over $250,000. This year, we are thrilled to continue a partnership with this organization so close to our hearts. Once again, OXO has pledged up to $100,000 to support Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Visit to learn how you can team up with OXO, Bake a Difference, and fight Pediatric Cancer.


Alex Lee

Santa Cruz Community Fights Pediatric Cancer

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Good Cookies @ 10:34 am October 8, 2012

On September 6, an article in The Santa Cruz Sentinel sparked the community to bake a difference for Gabriella, a little girl diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma. The article, “Sweetness in the midst of difficulty”, created an outpouring of support for Team G’s Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sale. Community members began to e-mail and call Gabriella’s mom, Kristin to ask, “How can I help?”

Local businesses and schools heard the news of Team G’s bake sale and decided to take action. Some businesses had “bake-offs” to see who could give the most baked goods.  Schools and Girl Scout troops offered to volunteer at the event. Kristin’s dream of a big bake sale began to take shape.

Team G’s Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Bake Sale recruited over 130 volunteers for the event including 55 plus bakers, 12 Sassy Cakes pre-cupcake makers, 50 Good Cookies at each location. Volunteers even baked over 2,000 treats to sell.

“Cookies, cupcakes and baked goods were coming in by the bucket full on Saturday,” says the Santa Cruz Good Cookie.  “People were lined up to drop their goods off and pick up their pre-ordered cookies and cupcakes.  As they were being dropped off, some were taken and bagged, ribbons and stickers applied then dispersed to all the tables.  It was just incredible to watch as the community came together and a site that just warmed my heart.”

On the big day – September 30th, bake sales all over Santa Cruz set up. Some friends dressed up as cupcakes and Cookie Monster to catch the eye of customers. Volunteers held signs on the street and waved to passers-by.

Between pre-sold baked goods, t-shirt sales and the city-wide bake sale event, Kristin and Team G’s Cookies for Kids’ Cancer raised $22,580 for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

“It was just incredible to see a community come together with such enthusiasm and heart,” says Kristin. “I was so honored to be a part of it all.  There’s no way it would have happened without everyone’s participation and dedication.  As Gretchen [Holt Witt] says, “Cookies are Magical”.  A saying I won’t forget anytime soon.”

To read more about Gabriella, visit our Inspiring Kids page.

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