Year in Review 2016

An Angel’s Wish Gala Dinner – Dance

All funds raised by our Annual Gala, go to support our research initiative at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. The Laboratory is world-renowned for its cutting-edge biological research. Since 2008 we were able to donate nearly $230,000. CRF proudly supports the work of Dr. Chris Vakoc. His research will be examining the genetic underpinnings of rhabdomyosarcoma and the search for possible drug targets. We are proud to partner with Friends of T.J. Foundation, Paul Paternoster and the Clark Gillies Foundation to support this work.

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

We would like to thank the Lindenhurst community, Lindenhurst Rotary, Interact Club, and the Rainbow Center, including FedEx, who delivered over 200 dresses to MSKCC hospital. Over the last six 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 are proud to have provided nearly $35,000 over the last ten 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 for children’s wishes.

St. Baldrick’s Foundation

For the past 12 years, we have had a team of volunteers that have participated in this annual event and have had our heads
shaved at a local pub. As a team we have helped raise funds, but more importantly we helped raise awareness of those in our community that need our help. Join us this March and take an active role in making a difference in a child’s life.

Christina Renna Memorial Scholarship Program

Christina’s passion for learning led us to establish this scholarship program. Congratulations to the 2016 winners; Ethan Spinnelli and Jessica Probst, each received a $1,000 scholarship to help pursue their education. To date, we have awarded $16,000 in local scholarships.

Golf Outing

Our tenth annual golf outing was chaired by Steve Borrelli and was held at Stonebridge Country Club in Smithtown on June 9, 2016. This fundraising event resulted in additional resources which permitted us to financially assist other cancer support groups. The success of the day was due to the hard work and the support of many local merchants and friends.

Coalition Against Childhood Cancer (CAC2)

CRF is a proud founding member of this coalition, which supports research, awareness, advocacy, and family resources for those affected by pediatric cancers. This national umbrella 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.

CAC2 Pediatric Cancer Conference “From Bench to Bedside and Beyond” 

CRF organized the first Pediatric Cancer conference held at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. This meeting drew 150 of the top clinicians, researchers, and foundations to this multi-day conference. The current status of research and treatment was discussed, but more importantly we came together as a community to identify bottlenecks and issues that we need to address. CAC2 will be publishing the conference’s proceedings which we will share on our website.

White House Briefing on Pediatric Cancer

CRF was invited to Washington DC to be part of the White House briefing on Pediatric Cancer. We received updated information on the President’s support of Childhood Cancer Research and the progress of the Moonshot program’s fight against cancer.

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

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 went to Capital Hill for a Rally for Medical Research. Local bakeries and florists did their part by placing CRF stickers on their boxes and bags. Donation boxes were placed in many local businesses. Periwinkles gave out CRF bracelets and CRF material throughout the Island.

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. This year 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 at both of these events. 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. We also began a pencil program to thousands for elementary students.


This very special community event took place on September 18, 2016 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.

Blood Drive

RJ once again chaired this event on September 18, 2016. To date, we have collected nearly 400 units of blood. Each year, about 50 people perform this vital and life-saving act of donating blood. It is a small act that can save a life. Please consider being a blood donor!

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, communicate with family and friends, allows doctors to provide education about treatments, and can 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 and we received many words of thanks from the hospital and the staff.

Grant Writing

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

Childhood Cancer Research

As part of our ongoing effort, the Christina Renna Foundation Inc. is dedicated to not only raising awareness, but also 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 as its recipient of our research initiative. We hope to build a continuing relationship with the Laboratory to assist in their world-renowned efforts in cancer research.

Direct Support to Cancer Foundations

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