Golf Tournament and Recognition Dinner
October 16, 2017
For more information
David Tedeschi, Newington Rotary
Diamonddave48@cox.net FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Newington Rotary Yearly Donation to Battle Childhood Cancer Continues to Climb
For six years, Newington Rotarians have sponsored golf tournaments to benefit the club’s signature charity project– the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF). Last year Rotarians were proud to present the national organization whose mission is to raise funds for research into new treatments and cures for children battling cancer, with a check in the amount of $27,000.
This year, in a dual-check presentation ceremony held during a sponsor and volunteer recognition gathering at the Indian Hill Country Club, Rotary president Michael Turgeon, along with Rotarians Ed Silverstein and Randy Hamilton, co-chairmen of the golf tournament, presented Liz Scott, the ALSF’s co-executive director, with a traditional oversized mock ceremonial donation check for $27,270. That total represents the proceeds from the golf tournament combined with a donation made by 13-year-old eighth grader Lena Uccello who earlier presented Turgeon with a cashier’s check totaling $1,270, the amount she raised this summer selling cupcakes as part of her Cupcakes Curing Cancer project, an adjunct activity sanctioned by Rotary to benefit ALSF. The combined total now raised in six years by Newington Rotarians for ALSF climbs to a colossal $129,270.
Following the check presentation, Turgeon introduced Scott as keynote speaker. In her address to some 70 Rotarians and guests attending the dinner, Scott said that as Alex’s mother, her message would engage three levels of gratitude.
She first directed her remarks at Lena, saying: “Lena you are amazing and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.” Referencing Mother Theresa, Scott went on to tell Lena that it’s not how much you give, but the amount of love you put into your giving.
“I couldn’t imagine a better example of that than you, and I can’t imagine a better example of that than Alex. Thank you for supporting a cause that meant so much to her and I’m certain Alex would be very honored that you are supporting her in this way and that you are using such a talent to help other children afflicted with cancer,” added Scott, acknowledging that she’s heard from many of Lena’s supporters that it takes hours, days and great deal of energy to prepare for her bake sales.
“That’s why I stick to making lemonade, it’s a heck of a lot faster and easier to prepare,” she quipped, noting that her own baking skills aren’t great.
Scott then spoke fondly of her daughter and how at first she thought the idea of selling lemonade was sweet but could it really help? It was a small solution to a very big problem, she thought, and she didn’t really believe Alex’s vision of helping other cancer patients would really make a difference. When lots of money started coming in from lemonade stands being staged locally and elsewhere to support research into ways to cure nueroblastoma, the type of cancer Alex had, the young girl questioned how the money was being spent.
“She wasn’t very happy when we told her the money was being used to find a cure for her type of cancer,” Scott said. “She just shook her head and called us selfish, telling us that all kids want their cancers to go away and that the money should be distributed to all different hospitals everywhere to fight all kinds of kid cancers,” Scott recalled.
Scott confessed she started to cry realizing it took a six-year-old to make her see what the real vision was.
“I’m grateful to Alex for making me see beyond just finding a treatment for neuroblastoma to cure her, but to realize that pediatric cancer was a much greater problem,” Scott admitted emotionally while other members of Alex’s family looked on, including Uncle Aaron Scott and Aunts Pam Scott and Sue Flynn and Flynn’s mother Dorothy Flynn.
Scott expressed her gratitude to Newington Rotarians and supporters who made it possible for the ALSF to explore breakthrough ways of solving pediatric cancer, profiling a recent case of a young boy living in Ohio who had long struggled with leukemia. The family had very little money and the local doctors had exhausted whatever treatment methods were available.
The boy’s grandmother learned of new trials being done for leukemia patients using immunotherapy in Philadelphia. Immunotherapy recruits the body’s own immune system to identify and kill cancer cells. Cancer cells hide from the immune system—convincing the body that they belong. As a result, cancer cells can grow without interference. Immunotherapy treatments activate the individual’s immune system so it can see cancer cells among the healthy cells, stop them from growing and kill existing cancer cells.
The child’s family was able to travel to Philadelphia using the foundation’s Travel For Care Program.
“Whenever new treatment modes become available, it most always involves travel, and sometimes far distances, “Scott admits, explaining that recognizing the financial burden that families often encounter, the ALSF, in addition to funding promising clinical trials, offers assistance to families who face the need to travel for childhood cancer treatment. “Transportation and lodging accommodations are available to eligible families who meet the criteria.”
“This little boy is one year-plus in remission,” she gleefully announced, eliciting thunderous applause from guests.
“On behalf of all parents who have been there up close battling pediatric cancer, I thank you and hope you are well aware of how what you do makes it possible for us to do what we do,” Scott concluded.
Silverstein finished off the evening by commending all those who volunteered or signed up as sponsors for the tournament.
“It’s important to credit the tournament’s success to all our hard-working Rotarians and to anyone and everyone who supported us in so many ways, “said Silverstein, specifically naming its key sponsors: RBC Wealth Management, Rotarian Charlie Lowe, Farmington Bank, Webster Bank, Feehan Financial, Builders Hardware, StanleyBlack &Decker, GEICO’s Newington office, Nicola, Yester and Company, Ashley Furniture, DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen, Key Bank, Turgeon Jewelers, JMAC Custom Carpentry, Joe Bourassa CPA, and Hartford Veterinary Hospital, and to Image 360 for its signs, banners and graphics.
He also acknowledged those who signed up as Tee-sponsors and purchased ad space in the tournament’s program booklet.
Suggested Caption Photo 1:
Newington Rotary raises $27,270 for its signature charity - the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Presenting the check to Liz Scott, co-executive director of the Foundation, are from left, Rotarians Ed Silverstein, Mike Turgeon and Randy Hamilton. Scott is the mother of Alex Scott, who at the age of four, had a vision to find cures for all children battling cancer. Newington Rotary has contributed a total of $129,270 from the proceeds of six golf tournaments held annually.
Suggested Caption Photo 2:
Mike Turgeon, president of the Newington Rotary, accepts a check for $1,270 from 13-year-old Lena Uccello who raised the money as part of her summer long Cupcakes Curing Cancer project, a Rotary sanctioned venture to benefit the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
Suggested Caption Photo 3:
Members of the Alex Scott family attended the Newington Rotary’s dinner recognizing sponsor sand volunteers who helped make the club’s 6th annual golf tournament a success. Proceeds from the event benefit the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Pictured, top row from left, Liz Scott, Alex’s mother and Aunt Pam Scott. Front row, from left, Dorothy Flynn, Sue Flynn, Alex’s Aunt, and Alex’s uncle Aaron Scott.
Suggested Caption Photo 4:
Joe Radziewicz, representing StanleyBlack&Decker , center, receives a certificate of appreciation from Rotarians Ed Silverstein and Randy Hamilton in recognition of the company’s generous sponsorship support for the Rotary’s 6th annual golf tournament benefiting the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
Suggested Caption Photo 5:
Richard Rapp, far right, representing RBC Wealth Management, accepts a certificate of appreciation from Rotarians Ed Silverstein, at left, and Randy Hamilton for the firm’s continued support as Platinum sponsor for the club’s annual golf tournament benefiting the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
Suggested Caption Photo 6:
Liz Scott, mother of Alex Scott, served as keynote speaker
Suggested Caption Photo 7:
Newington Rotary treasurer Dr. Michael Crouchley gives Lena Uccello a high five congratulating her for raising $1,270 selling cupcakes as part of her Cupcakes Curing project, a Rotary sanctioned venture which benefits the club’s signature charity – the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Lena’s cupcakes pictured in the background were given out to guests who attended the recent dinner where Rotary gave the ALSF a donation check for $27,270.