Year in Review 2017

An Angel’s Wish Gala Dinner – Dance

100% of all proceeds from our Annual Gala directly support our research initiative at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. The Laboratory is world-renowned for its cutting-edge biological research. Since 2008, we’ve been able to donate approximately a quarter-of-a-million dollars. CRF proudly supports the work of Dr. Chris Vakoc. His research examines the genetic underpinnings of rhabdomyosarcoma and the search for possible drug targets. I would also like to thank the Crest Hollow Country Club and the Monti Saladino family for all their support of this beautiful evening.

Annual Prom Dress Drive for Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC)

Over the last seven years, we’ve collected thousands of dresses and accessories for a special “Prom Night” for the children and their families that are being treated at MSKCC. We are so happy to have brightened even one day, in the lives of so many. We would like to thank the Lindenhurst community, Lindenhurst Rotary, Interact Club, and the Rainbow Center, along with FedEx, who’ve delivered over 200 dresses annually to MSKCC hospital. Please consider donating those prom dresses and gowns that you have tucked away in your closet.

Awareness Month for Childhood Cancer

During the month of September, CRF created a campaign to promote awareness, and educate the public on the need for additional research funding for pediatric cancer research. Joining hundreds of others, we supported the Rally for Medical Research on Capital Hill. Local bakeries and florists did their part by placing CRF stickers on their boxes and bags. A special thank you to the what comes next?

Blood Drive

RJ once again chaired this event on September 23. The drive was held at the Lindenhurst Middle School. To date, we have collected nearly 440 units of blood. Each year, about 50 people perform the vital and life-saving act of donating blood. It is a small act that can save a life. Please consider being a blood donor!

Childhood Cancer Research Support

The Christina Renna Foundation Inc. is dedicated to not only raising awareness, but also raising funds to support research. These funds are raised in conjunction with a number of our events, as well as an on-going sponsorship program which seeks the support of major corporations. The Board of Directors, with the assistance of its Advisory Board, determines the best and the most suitable institution or institutions for our research dollars. The Board of Directors has chosen Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and Assistant Professor Chris Vakoc as its recipient for our research initiative. We hope to build a continuing relationship with the Laboratory to assist in their world-renowned efforts in cancer research.

Christina Renna Memorial Scholarship Program

Christina’s passion for learning led us to establish this scholarship program. Congratulations to the 2017 winners; Nicholas Fajek and Hara McCandless, each received a $1,000 scholarship to help pursue their education. To date, we have awarded $18,000 in local scholarships.

Coalition Against Childhood Cancer (CAC2)

CRF is a proud founding member of the coalition, which supports research, awareness, advocacy, and family resources for those affected by pediatric cancers. This national coalition brings hundreds of childhood cancer organizations together into a single, focused voice. CRF continues in its leadership, assisting with chairing the research branch of this organization. We attended the CAC2 Annual Summit where we reported on the success of the first pediatric cancer conference held at CSHL in the fall of 2016. We were honored by CAC2 with a plaque for our outstanding service to the Coalition.

Direct Support to Cancer Foundations

CRF has proudly worked with, and has given financial support to: CureSearch, Charlie Thide Foundation, Deborah Hospital, Don Monti Memorial Research Foundation, and St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

Fishing Trip

Peter Triolo and Philip A. Renna? chaired our Annual Fishing Trip which was in early August. The weather was great and even my little granddaughter Isabella had fun running around the deck and playing with the fish. This is truly a FUN-raising event, in which everyone leaves with at least a big smile and even a few leave with fish!

Gold Ribbons and Laces

As part of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, CRF expanded its Gold Ribbon program across the Island, from Riverhead to Nassau County; placing Gold Ribbons on government buildings and schools. We were able to get both Nassau and Suffolk County to declare September as Childhood Cancer Awareness month, and both County Execs held special programs to recognize this. CRF was honored with proclamations from across the Island. This past year, we started a new ribbon program, where we collected the names of children with cancer and held a special tree lighting ceremony in the Village of Lindenhurst. Our Gold Shoelace program also covered the Island. Thousands of pairs of shoelaces that signify our ongoing battle with Childhood Cancer were given out to high school sports programs.

Golf Outing

Steve Borrelli chaired our eleventh Annual Golf Outing, which was held at Stonebridge Country Club in Smithtown on June 8. This event funds many of our programs throughout the year. The success of the day was due to the hard work and the support of many local merchants and friends. We are always in need of a few more foursomes so please consider joining us.

Grant Writing

CRF continues its efforts in obtaining grants for the Foundation. We received two small grants to support our Prom Dress Drive program and we have hope of obtaining additional funding for our many other programs, which will aid us in providing additional services to the cancer community that we serve.

IPad Project

CRF completed its 3-year pilot program of providing funding for iPads in the Children’s Pediatric ward at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The program allows patients to continue their education, and communicate with family and friends. It allows doctors to provide education about treatments, and can also be used as a distraction for the children during long, and at times, painful treatments. CRF hopes this multi-year pilot program will expand to other hospitals and care centers. This program was extremely successful, we received many words of thanks from the hospital and the staff.

Make-A-Wish

Christina was granted a wish and as a family, it was a profound experience that created memories that we still hold dear. In her honor we are proud to have provided nearly $38,000 over the last 11 years for granting wishes to children who so desperately need a little happiness in their lives. This year we will be donating a timeshare in Hawaii to be used for children’s wishes.

St. Baldrick’s Foundation

Join us this March and take an active role in making a difference in a child’s life. For the past 13 years, we have had a team of volunteers that have participated in this annual event and have had our heads shaved at the local pub, Mary Carroll’s. As a team we have helped raise funds, but more importantly we’ve helped raise awareness of those in our community that need our help.

Walk-A-Thon

This very special community event took place on September 23, at the Lindenhurst Middle School. Hosted once again by Mr. Amesti (Athletic Director) and Mr. Lombardo (Varsity Football Coach) of the Lindenhurst School District, the Walk-A-Thon drew over 400 high school athletes and community residents, who walked together for the cause. This event helps support our scholarship program and other community-based programs.