Jan 17, 2013 Erin Wisneski Uncategorized
Chris Arnold credits online fundraising for Paige’s Butterfly Run’s record breaking numbers this year.
Held in June, the event drew 2,650 participants (a 14 percent increase over 2011) and raised $253,000 – the previous high was $168,000 in 2011. The organization was able to present Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital with a check for $220,000 on Dec. 31.
“[This is] by far the largest gift we have ever made,” said Arnold.
Founded in 1997, the event is named for and held in honor of Arnold’s daughter, Paige Yeomans Arnold, who was a first grade student at Palmer Elementary School in Baldwinsville when she was diagnosed with leukemia. She was treated at what is now Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital before succumbing to the disease in 1994.
“Having a child with cancer is a tough place to be,” Arnold said. “I think everyone involved [with Paige’s Butterfly Run] understands what it is we are trying to do and is supportive of that whether it be through their registration fee or that plus their personal fundraising.”
This year’s $220,000 donation was divided into five different funds: Paige’s Cancer Research Fund ($85,000); Paige’s Family Assistance Fund ($98,000); Paige Yeomans Arnold Memorial Endowment Fund ($15,000); Paige’s Family Fun Fund ($17,000); and the new pediatric cancer outpatient clinic ($5,000), which is scheduled to open in 2014. Since its inception, the run has raised a total of $1.5 million.
According to Toni Gary, director of Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital Community Relations, donations from Paige’s Butterfly Run have helped to create a more normal atmosphere at the hospital for the families and children who have to stay for extended periods of time, specifically through Paige’s Family Fun Fund. This fund, which received $17,000 from PBR this year alone, provides child life specialists with the resources necessary to achieve a home-like environment on the inpatient and outpatient floors of the Dr. William J. Waters Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders. Money is used to help patients and their families enjoy a family meal, create birthday and holiday celebrations, and to generally lighten the lives of patients when they are in the hospital for treatment.
“With money from Paige’s Run, we are able to do so much more,” Gary said, adding child life specialists draw on these funds to provide children with the latest videos, games and activities while they are receiving treatment at the hospital. This is especially important for children enduring a longer stay at the hospital, Gary said.
“When you are seeing 5,000 visits with cancer patients alone per year, [Paige’s Family Fun Fund] really makes a difference in what we have for the children,” Gary said.
Paige’s Butterfly Run not only raises money for the hospital, but also helps to raise awareness.
“In the community, when you talk about 2,600 participants, there is so much more awareness that we have gained from participants, families and friends through Paige’s Butterfly Run,” Gary said. “It helps to make people more aware of what Golisano is doing; people realize children do have cancer and they are being treated in Syracuse.”
By the numbers
In 2012, Paige’s Butterfly Run raised $253,000 to benefit the children of Central New York. After event expenses, the event returned $220,000 to the CNY community as follows:
$85,000 to Paige’s Cancer Research Fund – to fund research at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital in applications for pediatric oncology
$98,000 to Paige’s Family Assistance Fund – to help families at the Dr. William J. Waters Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital having financial difficulties due to their child’s illness
$15,000 to the Paige Yeomans Arnold Memorial Endowment Fund – a permanent endowment established with the Foundation for Upstate, a portion of which will be used in the future to fund research and to provide financial assistance to families having difficulties due to their child’s illness
$17,000 to Paige’s Family Fun Fund – providing the Child Life Specialists on the inpatient and outpatient floors of the Dr. William J. Waters Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders with the resources for family meals, celebrations for birthdays and holidays and to generally lighten their lives when they are in the hospital for treatment.
$5,000 to help fund the new pediatric cancer outpatient clinic (opening in 2014)