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Empowering Volunteers to Help Fund Research for Childhood Cancer

Rally for Kids with Cancer Celebrity Scavenger Cup

Rally for Kids with Cancer Celebrity Scavenger Cup

October 24 – 25, 2014 in Nashville, Tenn.

(Video Credit: Variety Nashville from Solutions with Impact on Vimeo)

Rally for Kids is a car rally scavenger contest with 25 celebrities. Each celebrity joins a team to six activity points in town, one of them being the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.  The event is benefiting childhood cancer research at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Our next informative kickoff party will be on July 31 at 6PM at 4700 Lealand Lane, Nashville, TN  37220.  

For more information, visit http://www.rallyforkids.com.

SC Featured

Sweet Caroline Benefit Concert

Sweet Caroline Benefit Concert

Sweet Caroline Benefit Concert presented by Arrow Exterminators is a fun, music-filled event honoring Rally Kid Caroline, the daughter of Emily and Brian Belcher. Drew and Ellie Holcomb from the band Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors will be featured as the live entertainment for the event.

Location: SweetWater Brewery in Atlanta, Ga.
Date: Thursday, June 12, 2014 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Tickets: $50 each, includes a dinner provided by Tin Lizzy’s Cantina, SweetWater beer and live entertainment by Drew and Ellie Holcomb.

SC FeaturedAbout Rally Kid Caroline

In November 2012, Caroline (age 3) was diagnosed with cancer in her brain and spine. Her family had moved to northern Kentucky in September 2012 and had no idea at the time that anything was wrong. Shortly after the move, Caroline complained of pain in her head, and a CT revealed excess fluid in her brain. Several additional tests revealed PNET tumors throughout her brain and spine. Caroline completed three rounds of chemotherapy, followed by three more rounds of high dose chemo with stem cell recovery. In August 2012, she completed six weeks of proton radiation therapy in Bloomington, IN. Caroline is now taking two oral chemo drugs and has MRIs every eight weeks.

Caroline is very girlie. She loves to dress up in dresses and she loves the color pink. She also loves listening to music and cooking. She spends lots of time in the kitchen helping her mom cook!

CSG Featured

Delta Double Play

2014 Delta Double Play: Friday, November 7 and Saturday, November 8!
The Delta Double Play is two fabulous events back-to-back.

Friday, November 7:
Benefit Bash with Mizuno Big League Players

Atlanta Braves All-Star Catcher Brian McCann, and his wife Ashley, served as honorary chairs once again for Rally’s Seventh Annual Benefit Bash with Mizuno Big League Players at the Loews Atlanta Hotel. All proceeds of the event benefitted Rally and it’s mission to find better treatments with fewer long-term side effects and, ultimately, cures for childhood cancer.

“My wife and I are excited to be honorary chairs again at this year’s Delta Air Lines Double Play,” said McCann. “After meeting kids affected by cancer and seeing what they go through, Rally has become close to our hearts. We really look forward to being involved in this event each year.”

The Benefit Bash has raised more than 2 million dollars in its first seven years for childhood cancer research.

“Brian and Ashley have been dedicated Double Play chairs since 2008 and Rally is looking forward to another successful event with the McCann’s,” said Dean Crowe, Founder and CEO of Rally. “It is our hope that the seventh annual Benefit Bash will raise even more money to fund critical research for children fighting cancer.”

With the help of our dedicated sponsors and generous guests, the evening was a fun and successful evening with more than $540,000 raised for childhood cancer research. There were silent and live auctions, cocktails and delicious food tastings, and a special message from several Rally Kid.

Saturday, November 8:
The Brian McCann Rally Celebrity Softball Game

Gates opened for the sixth annual Brian McCann Rally Celebrity Softball Game at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 8, 2014 at the Gwinnett Braves’ Coolray Field. The family friendly event included a home run challenge, games, food and merchandise for sale. Thank you to all who came out for a fun day at the ballpark!

ROR Featured

Rally On the Runway

Rally On the Runway 2014

Thursday, May 1, 2014 at The Buckhead Theatre!

Rally On the Runway is an evening you will never forget—delicious cocktails and delicious tastings from local Atlanta restaurants, fabulous silent auction and of course, professional models showing the latest spring fashions from Bloomingdale’s.  But the highlight of the night will be our Rally Kid models strutting their stuff down the runway with Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle and Rally On the Runway Honorary Chair Corey Peters and fellow NFL players. These brave girls on the arms of strong NFL players will melt your heart.  Come enjoy a fun evening and make a difference for kids with cancer!

Rally On the Runway 2014 was a great success! We raised more than $120,000 for childhood cancer research. The girls looked fabulous on the runway and everyone had a great time.

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Corks Against Cancer

Robert Mondavi Private Selection Partners with Rally to Fight Childhood Cancer through Corks Against Cancer

If you are 21 or older, you can help kids with cancer simply buy purchasing Robert Mondavi Private Selection wine at participating retailers and restaurants near you!Robert Mondavi Private Selection is partnering with Rally for the fourth Corks Against Cancer campaign to help find a cure for childhood cancer. When you buy a bottle of Robert Mondavi Private Selection wine, a donation will be made to Rally.

Upstate and Metro New York will be running this campaign in October and November. Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota will be running this campaign in November and December.

Be sure to “Like” our Corks Against Cancer Facebook Fan Page and follow@Corks4Rally on Twitter to keep up to date with events and promotions at participating locations. 

The Corks Against Cancer promotion is proud to have donated more than $350,000 to Rally to fund cutting edge research to find better treatments with fewer long-term side effects, and ultimately, a cure for childhood cancer! Rally thinks that is something to definitely toast!

Keep checking back for more information on Corks Against Cancer!

For the Cause, For a Cure

Jenny and Shauna“Her cancer is back.” These are the words I heard on my 3rd day of work at Alston & Bird, in August of 2010. The “her” they were referring to was Hailey Trainer, my friend and former co-worker, Mark Trainer’s 2 year old daughter. She had been in remission from a rare form of brain cancer AT/RT.

Mark’s wife Shauna had a Caringbridge website. She updated it almost daily and it was read by many people at the firm. Shauna has this amazing ability to make you cry and laugh at the same time. Usually, you were at your desk when this horribly embarrassing laugh/cry was happening. Luckily most people on our floor read the Caringbridge blog so they understood. At this point I hadn’t met Shauna, but I feel like I knew her. I felt like she was my close personal friend going through this unimaginable trauma.

Over the next few months I witnessed what cancer can do to a family. Not just any cancer, but childhood cancer. Hailey’s health rapidly began to decline and she passed away in November of 2010. About a week before Hailey passed away, it was time for the annual Rally Bash. I was lucky enough to be able to attend that year. I was always sad when you hear about children being sick and dying, but to attend this event and hear their stories first hand completely changed my life. I knew I wanted to be involved.

jenny and friend at bashOur firm has a fundraising program once a month called Casual Day for a Cause. It allows the staff and attorneys at the firm to pay a minimum donation of $5.00 to wear jeans to the office on Wednesday of that week. After submitting Rally as the beneficiary of the corporate fundraiser two years in a row, it was finally selected.

In mid-January of this year, I received the call, “The Rally Foundation has been chosen as one of our casual days for a cause! Oh and by the way- it’s the first one of the year, in about 5 days.” I quickly got in touch with Shauna and the Rally Foundation regarding stickers and promotional materials. I sent out the firm wide emails telling them about the cause and the Rally Kids affected by childhood cancer. I received a lot of great feedback from attorneys and staff across the firm. “Thanks for making me cry before 10:00am”, “Great email, very touching”, and others very similar. Mostly from people who knew Mark, but I also received emails from people I’d never met who were also very enthusiastic about donating. There was a lot of momentum going in to Casual Day.

jenny and qtegoFast forward to casual day Wednesday—Snowpocalypse 2014 in Atlanta when the office was closed and the city was shut down. The fundraiser was postponsed to the following week, which gave the opportunity to get the word out even more! The following Wednesday we hosted our first Casual Day for a Cause benefitting the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research. Many people donated more than the recommended $5.00 and we raised over $1,200- a significant amount more than is usual for our Casual Day fundraiser.

Since then, I have had the opportunity to be even more involved with Rally fundraisers and I’ve served as a volunteer at events like Rally Idol. It’s an amazing experience to make a difference for kids fighting cancer. I can’t wait for more corporate fundraisers at Alston & Bird LLP and to be further involved as a Rally Volunteer!

Rally On!

Jenny Hillman

Rally Research in Action

john and jacob for blogMy passion is to better understand the genetic basis of leukemia in order to develop better therapies. My laboratory specializes in studying the link between Down syndrome and leukemia, because these children have a high rate of cancer: they are at a 500-fold increased risk of a rare subtype of myeloid leukemia and a 20-fold increased risk of a common childhood leukemia B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). Given the multiple health problems these children and their families face, the last thing parents want to hear is that their child has leukemia.

Through my interactions with the Rally Foundation, I have been blessed to meet Jacob, a young man with Down syndrome who developed B-ALL. Jacob completed his three-year course of therapy with a well-deserved celebration. He showed amazing courage through his 1,090 days of chemotherapy, 118 IV pokes, 22 spinal taps, 9 blood transfusions and four bouts of hair loss. Fortunately Jacob is a leukemia survivor, but sadly there are many others who do not survive. We desperately need new therapies to improve their chances and to make the chemotherapy less toxic so that these children do not suffer from all the debilitating side effects.

dr c for blogI am very thankful to the supporters of the Rally Foundation, especially Jacob’s family, for their encouragement and donations. Research is an expensive endeavor and the tightening of the Federal budget and decreases in NIH funding have made progress more challenging. The Rally grant enables me to support the salary of a senior researcher who focuses exclusively on studying the link between Down syndrome and B-ALL. This support is critical to foster our mission to not only understand why there is this increased incidence of leukemia in children with DS, but also to develop better and less toxic therapies.

We support the McCann 34 Challenge!

McCann 34 Social Image for blogSkip and Victoria Moore’s Story

As restaurant owners, entrepreneurs and lifelong sports fans, we appreciate the value of a good team. We know that it takes a community to make big things happen. For years, we have been fans of Brian McCann, cheering him on during his time with the Atlanta Braves. Both on and off the field, Brian ,and his wife Ashley, make a difference and have inspired our family to help make an impact in the lives of children battling cancer. We’re so excited to continue to support The Rally Foundation and cheer on Brian as he dons a new number and team colors with the New York Yankees.

We created the Brian McCann Home Run Challenge several years back and have been hooked ever since. Not only did we as a family take an active role by pledging a donation for each home run Brian hit in a game, but we encouraged others to do the same. We asked that they pledge what they could, knowing their donations would go far in the fight against childhood cancer. Even our children, who were still learning to save and budget money pledged to donate and watched in anticipation during each game to see what the home run tally would be. Our kids loved the feeling of making a difference in such a fun way.

<Skip and Vic Moore for BlogAt our Gulf-front restaurant 723 Whiskey Bravo in Seagrove Beach, FL, we encourage patrons to do the same. Guests can not only enjoy a baseball game, a delicious meal and a great view, but know that they can help make a positive impact at the same time. As this season kicks off and games begin, we again will be encouraging our diners to donate what they can. Whether pledges are $3.40, $34 or $340 per home run, every cent is important. The McCann 34 Challenge truly is a way to connect with family, new friends, and, of course, join the Rally Foundation in fighting cancer.  It isn’t about just writing a check in the end. It’s about making connections, making a difference, supporting each other and ultimately finding a cure.  We know Brian will do his part — so let’s do ours!

 

Take the Brian McCann Home Run Challenge today!

Leah for BLOG name

Fashion Forward

Theo Dean and MaraI love what I do.  I’ve been styling and producing fashion shows for over 10 years, a lot of which have been at Bloomingdales, and they are known for their commitment to community and charitable events.  So when the Lenox PR Manager, Mara Maddox, asked me if I was interested in doing a fashion show with Rally, it made sense.  Mara mentioned I would be working with children which wasn’t the norm, but I just assumed a few more hours selecting looks and scheduling fittings.  It was A LOT MORE. Rally Foundation crafted their fashion show into an opportunity to give a child who spends every day of their life fighting and surviving cancer to look and feel like a million bucks, with a full day of pampering – nails, hair, makeup – and a session with stylist extraordinaire, yours truly.

Leigh for BLOG nameNormally, models are hangers with no input in their outfit du jour but this time, the clothes took a backseat to their subjects, as I began meeting some of the most beautiful souls I have ever had the pleasure to encounter – the Rally Kids.  I quickly found myself wishing for waterproof mascara and searching for Kleenex.  I’d like to share my encounter with two of the twelve special young ladies I had the joy to style in 2011.
Leigh is a petite powerhouse with an infectious smile and not an ounce of teen angst – go figure as she has everything to be angry about having been diagnosed with cancer at 17.  Nonetheless, she arrived at her fitting all smiles and ready to play dress up!  We instantly clicked as she began chatting about my tattoos and she couldn’t wait to show me hers.  It was an amazingly intricate, beautiful cherry blossom on her side to cover scars from multiple surgeries.  Every tattoo has as a story, and as she shared hers with me, the tears just came. Once the tears gave way to laughter at our “oops this was supposed to be fun” episode, we pulled it together and got back to the business of fashion.  We unanimously decided on Leigh’s look: a bright turquoise dress and pink shoes that though no one would know, complimented her body art perfectly.  Leigh is currently cancer free and a nurse at Emory Hospital, putting that infectious smile to very good use, doing for other patients what was done for her.

Leah for BLOG nameLeah came to her fitting fired up and ready to go and her enthusiasm was contagious.  I had no idea that much personality and spunk could fit into such a small package. Nor did I have any idea that I was dealing with a burgeoning fashionista!  As her mom and I tried on one frock after another with Leah, she finally ‘approved’ of a cute floral navy dress with a white cardigan.  She was set to strut her stuff with her favorite Falcons player, Coy Wire on her arm and nearly stole the show as they danced down the runway!  In fact, she almost did it again the following year as an alumni model in just a Rally tee and jeans!  That was Leah’s last Rally on the Runway, as she passed away in January of 2013.  When I heard the news, all I could see was her sweet face lighting up on that runway.

Three years later, I look forward to Rally On the Runway every Spring.  I style each child as if they are bonafide supermodels, doting on them, catering to their every fashion whimsy and choosing their ensemble as if it’s the most important thing they will ever wear…and to me, it is.

Theo Tyson

 

andrew and band

Survivor

 

Andrew treatment smallCancer has been a major part of my life for twelve years. Throughout those twelve years, I have learned that one little word can shatter hope, destroy families and challenge everything I thought I knew. Yet somehow, amidst the many pokes, prods, tests and doctor visits that I had to experience as a six year old, I found what many young cancer patients find: a resilience deep within our bones along with an inner peace that allows us to accept whatever is to come and comfort those around us even when they truly have no idea what kind of hardships we are facing.

andrew music smallA few of the hardships that came along with my experimental radiation treatment to shrink my inoperable brain tumor included:

- I had to give myself growth hormone injections for six years.

- I received painful injections once a month in my hip for two years. These injections prevented me from playing sports and forced me to walk with severe pain for a week and a half of every month.

- I wore a full body hard plastic back brace twenty hours a day for three years to combat scoliosis.
Despite these painful side effects that limited me from doing things I would have loved to do, I am thankful because I am extremely lucky to be alive. Cancer has definitely put things into perspective for me throughout my life. Trivial day to day issues are not a big deal to me anymore and average aches and pains don’t feel so bad. I find myself focusing on the positive aspects of my life much more than the negative. I realize that every day I am able to roll out of bed, take a breath of fresh air and walk around on my own two legs is a gift.

This June, I will return to the children’s hospital that saved my life for the last time as a patient. I think it is going to be one of the most emotional experiences of my life as I will stand before the man that has known me since I was six years old, that treated me and ultimately delivered the treatment that saved my life. I look forward to being able to tell him as a young man, “Thank you. You’re the reason I’m here.”

andrew and bandChildhood cancer and the Rally Foundation are a part of me. And, they will be forever. They have helped shape the young man that I am today, a survivor.

Join Rally Kid Andrew and the rest of the Rally Idol Kid Performers this upcoming Friday night at The Buckhead Theatre for Rally Idol! Andrew is one of our five performers that have been affected by childhood cancer that will perform in front of a live audience and with a live band in front of Amerian Idol finalists as the celebrity judges. Don’t miss out on the fun!