Thursday, September 30, 2010

All hands on deck!

Sometime today we should know if we're in the running to be a candidate for the October Pepsi Refresh Project!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THIS MEANS: Starting October 1 and going through October 31, you get 10 votes EVERY DAY to spend on a Pepsi Refresh candidate at We'll give you the direct link to The Kyrie Foundation's page as soon as we get it. Me? I'm giving my 10 votes every day to The Kyrie Foundation, and of course, I'd love for you to do the same!

We decided to dream BIG and go BIG with this one, so we're up for the $250K grant. Yep, THAT big! This would fund BIG growth. We could hire devoted full-time employees/experts to execute BIG initiatives that would bring awareness and new donors to the cause. We could start our parent/hospital outreach program nationwide. We could create so many more opportunities to gain donations for The Kyrie Foundation Tissue Bank Fund. We could do so much and we want to take you along!

I've often been beleaguered at what it takes to keep an organization like this going. Legally and logistically we have been lucky to have very generous board members who donate out of their own pockets the money to cover framing for the art auction, fees to rent a projector for a presentation, beads for our bracelets, ketchup & mustard for the concession stand, lunch for the krop, our very first event table, little extras to make our auction offerings look nice, event insurance and postage for sending out year-end tax receipts, just to name a scant few. You would not believe all of the little things that add up. And this is happening at the exact same time they are setting up tables and chairs for an event, calling for restaurant gift card donations, updating Facebook, creating art for our event t-shirts—you name it.

What happens when you have the funds to grow is that even bigger stuff starts to happen, like partnerships, corporate sponsors, endorsements, etc. And that? That's what creates BIG funds for research. Remember, we want the research to happen faster. There will be 10 new Kyries today and 10 more tomorrow. It's time to move, people! And, wow, are we going to move mountains with something like this! ;)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

GoodSearch Toolbar Contest!

Would you take a minute to help The Kyrie Foundation win $1,000? is sponsoring a contest that will give an extra $1,000 to each of the five organizations that have the most toolbar downloads (and $100 to each of the first 100 charities to reach 100 downloads!)  With the GoodSearch toolbar, every time you search online or shop at more than 1,500 stores (from Amazon to Zazzle!), a donation will be made to The Kyrie Foundation — all you have to do is add our toolbar to your computer.

Please help us be one of the lucky charities that will receive these much needed funds!

Here's how:

1. Click

2. Download the Kyrie Foundation (Overland Park KS) toolbar

3. "Share With Friends" on our toolbar download page so that others can get involved!

The contest ends on Oct. 31 so please add the toolbar NOW and spread the word to as many people as you can!  For more information, click

Thank you for your support!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What a walk!

Each year, I'm left speechless by the amount of generosity that culminates in one spot. The sponsors who said "yes," the registrants who said "yes," the donors who said "yes,"the bidders who said "yes," the volunteers who said "yes" and the families in our video who said "yes." Affirmation is such a balm for this work. ;)

What a night, eh?! We had so many magical moments that night, answers to prayers, really. So each year, I feel more and more inept at describing how grateful we are that you're supporting The Kyrie Foundation so that we can all support our children.

We are so fortunate to have so many to thank, yet again, like our sponsors: KFDI, Maughan & Maughan Law Offices, Kruse Corporation, Wilkinson Construction, Pratt Industries, Cargill, Western Industries, Pepsi Americas, Rubbermaid, Farmland, Wired-Rite Electric, Art's & Mary's Homestyle Tater Chips, Kirk & Becky Rundle, E-Graf-X, CiCi's Pizza and of course, Bishop Carroll High School. So when I say it's wonderful when people work together, I mean when A LOT of people work together. :)

Thank you Andover Central softball girls and Coach Frakes for face painting, fish ponding and for raising over $2,000 to help save children so that they can grow up to play softball, too!

Thank you Tamera for being our great greeter and to the Weber and Wilkinson families for being our special guests.

Thank you to Tony Brueski for emceeing the entire evening!

Thank you to Bill will Accent Mobile Music for making everybody sound so good!

Thank you to Andi for heading up the races and being the world's best prize giver-outer.

Thank you to Lacy and Leah who helped organize and promote our FANTASTIC silent auction items.

Thank you to Robin, Michelle, Tanna, Wes, Samantha & Ryan who ran registration and then simply ran for whatever we needed!

Thank you M&M Kids for Kyrie, the WINNING FUNDRAISING TEAM!!!!! With over $1,200 in donations!!!!!!! What an inspiration these children are (and their parents!) to the rest of us.

Thank you Phil Ray for being our master photographer! There some great photos on his site for your family's Christmas card this year.

Thank you to the lovely Nina Jerke and Melanie Ryan for such heartfelt and talented vocal performances!

Thank you Susan, Anissa, Skylar, Nate, Craig, Manny, Lisa and Shelby for setting up, tearing down and smiling all the while.

Thank you Susan Jae for being the most beautiful Dorothy inside and out!

Thank you Major Shellie Harmon and the JROTC cadets for the lovely flag raising and for being over-the-moon helpful!

Thank you Amanda for the powerful national anthem and to Ann for being on deck as first aid!

Thank you Derek, Leah, Darcie, Branigan, Andrea, Todd and Becky for all of you incredible concessioning.

Thank you Sheri and Nana Norma for the gorgeous and delicious cookies!

Thank you Jodi and Heritage College for helping everybody r-e-l-a-x, and for staying late to massage me!

Thank you Donna for all of your time and talent put into creating the one-and-only Kyrie Foundation t-shirt quilt. Made of all of our event tees and embroidered with special phrases from The Kyrie Foundation cookbook, this quilt is an absolute treasure.

 Thank you Clearwater Dancers for your hip-happening performances!

Thank you Big Sky Party Rentals for the inflatables!

Thank you to the Twilight Walkers who walked for all the little ones who couldn't that day.

Thank you for watching what's tough to watch.

And thank to everyone, EVERYONE, who turned one Saturday evening into over $17K to save baby brains from cancer.

Monday, September 20, 2010

More to come later ...

but I wanted you to have a chance to look at all the great photos from Phil Ray! It was an awesome night at Bishop Carroll on Saturday--such a great group of people coming together to do something really good for kids and families that may never even know that we were there. GOOD is so GOOD!

Check out the photos here:

p.s. Stay tuned later this week for our recap and our grand total!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


We'll see you at the Bishop Carroll High School Track tonight at 5 p.m.! For info or directions, check out

Friday, September 17, 2010

today on KAKE TV!

Tune in to the midday show on KAKE channel 10 today for a segment with Lacie and me about the foundation and tomorrow's Twilight Walk!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Here we go!

So we're getting everything ready for Saturday. Lots and lots of details. Every year, I'm amazed at what a little teamwork can do. Those who have spend this year thinking about Saturday and those who are volunteering to make it possible are really looking forward to spending the evening with you and your family.

For the third year in a row, Bill with Accent Mobile Music will be our tune master. We adore him and are so glad that he brings his daughter each year. I remember him saying last year that there weren't many places anymore where you could just let your kid have fun without too much worry. The Twilight Walk is, indeed, such a place.

So ... we are off tomorrow to prep and set-up. Registration is still open tomorrow, but after that, we'll just see you at the gates. Wear your comfy shoes and bring a comfy chair if you want, too. We hear that the weather is going to be great as well!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Nearly here!

The Twilight Walk is this Saturday! The Twilight Walk is this Saturday! The Twilight Walk is this Saturday!

I'm so excited for this week because it's the culmination of months and months of work on behalf of lots and lots of people. And that work is squeezed in amongst birthday dinners, swim meets, football practice, grocery shopping, moving homes, planning the other yearly fundraisers, jobs and the extra work that comes with the jobs, family tragedies, family visits, health issues, school projects, homework, social obligations and our general life and times. It's really squeezed in there. And like I've said before, we possess no special powers to make an event happen. We start from scratch and look around to see what needs to be done.

It's all done in hope that you'll just come be with us. I watched Stand Up to Cancer last Friday, and it was a very well produced, lucrative awareness event. It's so good to focus on this fight for a little while. The coolest thing, I think, about the Twilight Walk is that we're not just standing up to cancer but we're literally taking steps to beat it. We're moving forward.

One housekeeping note: if you're on a fundraising team or a team captain and you've received donations offline (check or cash in-hand), e-mail me your donors and amounts so I can log them into your tally. Go teams!!!

Stay tuned! We have lots of sponsors to thank tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

10 DAYS!

If you're looking for a way to invite your friends and family to the big 2010 Twilight Walk on Saturday, September 18, feel free to copy and paste the following in an e-mail!

Just a reminder about the most important family event we host all year. It's not too late to sign up or to start a mini fundraising campaign leading up to the big day.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and the next step to curing children’s brain cancer begins with you!

You're invited to the 
2010 Twilight Walk
a two-mile evening stroll benefiting 
The Kyrie Foundation

and its work to raise research funds to fight pediatric brain cancer.

Saturday, September 18, 2010   •   5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Bishop Carroll High School  •   8101 West Central   Wichita, KS
The evening kicks off with music, food, a fantastic silent auction, live entertainment from Raeann's Fancy Footwork, North YMCA, vocalists Nina Jerke & Melanie Ryan, parent-child races and children’s games, including inflatables from Big Sky Party Rentals! 

Speaking of silent auction, we have plenty of incredible items to bid on and all funds go to The Kyrie Foundation. What a way to get a jump on your holiday shopping, eh? Here is just a sample of the goodies you'll find!

• Basketball signed by Hall of Famer, Olympic Gold Medalist, KU Alum and First Female Harlem Globetrotter Lynette Woodard
• 2009 WSU Basketball Team Signed Ball
• Rubbermaid Patio Storage Bench
• Rubbermaid Outdoor Storage Box
• $300 Gift Certificate to The Mattress Hub
• Suncast Outdoor Storage Cabinet
• Suncast Outdoor Deck Box
• Beautiful Handmade Quilt
• Rubbermaid 72qt Marine Cooler
• Vornado Whole Room Space heater
• Mario Batali Dutch Oven
• DeWalt Corded Drill with 1/2" chuck

And you've got to come see the new Kyrie Foundation wood-fired grill—it's the grill to end all grills!— donated and constructed by Danny Schneider and Kruse Corporation. This thing is stunning!

As twilight commences, participants begin the walk carrying illumination stars. The walk will consist of 10 quarter-mile laps, one lap for each child diagnosed everyday with a brain tumor.

$10 per person, includes t-shirt & illumination star
Children 2 years old & under free! Plus, 2 free game tickets per child when you pick up your t-shirts at the event.

Wheelchairs, strollers & wagons welcome!
$5 at the door (does not include t-shirt)

NEW THIS YEAR: Online registration automatically comes with your very own online fundraising page! It's easier than ever to raise extra funds on your own or by joining a team of Twilight Walkers

Founded in the aftermath of a tiny girl’s battle with an insidious brain tumor, we were mortified to discover that pediatric brain cancer is fast becoming the “new leukemia” to children, and research is grossly underfunded. That’s why we’re asking for your help. Funds raised from this event will go toward researching a cure with help from teams like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Duke University Medical Center, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and many others, through our alignment with the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation of the U.S. located in Asheville, N.C.  Please track our progress through our website,

Register online: 
or e-mail Megan Thome,

Listen for the Twilight Walk with Tony Brueski on KFDI 103.1 and on Way-FM 93.7!
  Got questions? Visit our FAQs at

Special thanks to:
KFDI 101.3 FM
Maughan & Maughan Law Offices
Wilkinson Construction
Pepsi Americas
Accent Mobile Music
Kruse Corporation
Pratt Industries
Bishop Carroll High School
Heritage College
Kirk & Becky Rundle
Wired-Rite Electric
Big Sky Party rentals
Western Industries
Art's & Mary's Homestyle Tater Chips
Cici's Pizza

Thursday, September 2, 2010

From our dear friend Susan:

You know how when you get older and you're supposed to say
"Oh no…no presents please!"
Well, I don't get it.
I guess being an only child, I still like to get presents, even at almost 43 years old.

And, my friends & family know that about me.
Just as they all know I LOVE to celebrate my Birthday!
Parties - peoples - cake - good times - music - food - drinks - laughter.

I was lucky enough to get ALL of that this past weekend!
I was able to spend Friday nite with 50 friends and family at Cabaret OldTown.
Saturday I was surprised with a Birthday Luau with 40 some friends in attendance.

But the very best part of my Birthday celebrations was this….
Kyrie was also celebrated!

You see…Kyrie and I share September 1st as our Birthday.

And my people know how much The Kyrie Foundation means to me.
So what they did…oh-so-touched my heart.

I received money donated in my name to be given to The Kyrie Foundation!
Toys & games given for "Frosty" and "Elf Rita's" next Christmas trip to Wesley Hospital pediatric floor!

Can you believe it?!
Can you think of any better presents?!
Can you think of any other way to celebrate September 1st?!
I sure can't…not no way….not no how.

I am blessed all the way around!
Susan Jae

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


If you know of a kindergartner this year, you know Kyrie.

Five is such a delightful age. Full of wonder and full of entertaining explanations and questions. Five teeters on the edge of home and world in this delirious new experience called "school," a place where baby brains become full with education, friendship, growth and development. Five is magical. Five is inspirational. Five loves being five.

And five years after her arrival on this earth, she is, to me, delightful, wonderful and inspirational. Kyrie, five years later, has grown to include all of you in her life, to include many other children in heaven waiting for their parents, friends, family.

I love that she shares a birthday with perhaps our number one fan, Susan, aka Easter Bunny. Kyrie also shares a birthday with my dear godson, who has volunteered at several of the foundation's events. Born on Labor Day five years ago, perhaps that was a sign, too, of the work that would be presented to all of us to fight this fight, to protect kindergartners' brains.

I believe that we received a birthday gift for Kyrie last night. It's something that I've alluded to in the past couple months, and in a few weeks, I hope to share some good, big news—a gift that could mean a lot to the foundation.

And in the spirit of appreciating the 5-year-olds in your life or remembering what 5 years old was like with one of your children, I hope you'll come September 18 to celebrate this journey with us.

Happy birthday, sweet Kyrie. We love you dearly and miss you terribly. Thank you so much for bringing incredible joy to your parents and for showing us a new reason to be generous with our time, talent and treasure. Please continue to stay with us as we keep working to save children just like you.