It's that time of year again -- time to register for one of Baldwinsville's most recognized fundraisers, Paige's Butterfly Run, which will be held Saturday June 2 at Palmer Elementary School.
In 1994, Paige Arnold-Yeoman passed away at the age of 8-years-old after a yearlong battle with Leukemia. Her memory lives on and brings hope to other children through the annual event held at Palmer where Paige was a student. The run raises money for the local pediatric oncology community and provides scholarships in Paige's memory through the Baldwinsville Community Scholarship Foundation.
The run began in 1997 as a memorial walk, the same year Paige would have graduated from elementary school, and participants raised a couple thousand dollars. Since then, it has grown exponentially attracting more than 700 participants last year and raising $108,000. More than 90 percent of the money raised went to funded areas.
"Our overhead is very low -- the biggest cost is T-shirts for participants," said Chris Arnold, Paige's father and event organizer. "All the money raised here stays here and we try to be very good stewards of money people entrust to us."
After event expenses, $100,000 was returned to the CNY community as follows: $45,000 went to Paige's Cancer Research Fund at University Hospital; $30,000 went to Paige's Family Assistance Fund to help families at the Center for Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders; $10,000 went to the Paige Yeomans Arnold Memorial Endowment Fund established with Upstate Medical University Foundation; $10,000 went to the Baldwinsville Community Scholarship Foundation; and $5,000 went to Paige'e Family Fun Fund to provide funds for meals, birthday celebrations and more at the CCCBD.
This year, they hope to do better.
"We're really trying to emphasize individual fundraising," Arnold said. "Participants need to remember they're not asking for themselves, they are asking to help pediatric patients of today and tomorrow by funding research and patient programs we have in place."