MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ: On Saturday, July 13th, The Frances Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps children and families who are fighting pediatric cancer, held their 13th Annual Picnic and Softball Tournament, at Cross Farm Park in Holmdel, NJ. The day was full of sunshine and the children were able to fully enjoy the fields, playgrounds, and spray pad. The event included a variety of youth activities, like water balloon toss, face painting, a DJ and so much more including prizes for all the kids! Guests enjoyed a delicious BBQ and cooled off with endless ice pops and refreshing watermelon.
Frances Foundation Founder Bob Heugle comments, "Today was an amazing day. The sunshine was brilliant and so were the countless smiles. We are so thankful to the more than 50 volunteers who made this event possible. Would also like to thank the teams, players and fans. Captain Don Sutton arrived for duty at the park at 5:55 am, our event started at noon and Sutton was one of the last volunteers to leave. He's an example of the great dedicated volunteers our foundation is blessed with. We appreciate each and every volunteer and all of our families and supporters here today."
The highlight of the day was the opening ceremony that included an emotional and energizing balloon release honoring all of the Frances Foundation heroic Angels and courageous Warriors.
VIDEO: See the Angel and Warrior Balloon Release-click below:
The balloon release was a visual alluding to the love felt for the Angels and their families, and at the same time showing the strong support and hope for the warrior families. The balloons when released intrinsically intertwined with one another against the blue sky backdrop, symbolic of the strong bonds created through the Frances Foundation community. A pediatric cancer family can truly understand how horrific pediatric cancer is. Everyone has a different story but the families coming together through the Frances Foundation find an immediate support network that understands. A network that is unparalleled for the many families who are traveling or have traveled the unimaginable life altering pediatric cancer journey.
Bonds of hope, faith and love are created among the families, relationships are formed through the Frances Foundation community, that otherwise would not have the opportunity to happen. The siblings of Angels and Warriors can share their feelings with each other in ways that they may not necessarily be able to share with other children in their communities.
Frances Foundation Founder Robert Heugle spoke about the bi-partison support for the the 'Jake the Tank Marijuana Medical Relief Bill' that was signed by Governor Murphy. Jake is a Frances Foundation Angel, who passed from a rare form of pediatric brain cancer in January 2018. He was well represented at the event by family and friends. Jake's dad Mike Honig commented, "During Jake’s treatments he was part of New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana program for nine months. Throughout that time, while medicated, Jake went to school, excelled in sports, and played video games. The medical cannabis allowed for Jake’s personality to shine through in spite of his cancer in a way that any pain killer we gave him did not come even close to. We were able to have Jake back when he was being treated by medical cannabis. He was able to enjoy family life."
VIDEO: Frances Foundation Founder Bob Heugle on Jake the Tank Medical Marijuana Bill:
The opening ceremony included the National Anthem sung by pediatric cancer warrior: McKenzy followed by God Bless America sung by Sean Hanlon from the Holmdel Kiwanis Club.
VIDEO of National Anthem by Frances Foundation Warrior McKenzy:
VIDEO of God Bless America led by Sean Hanlon of the Holmdel Kiwanis Cub.
Cancer warrior Ryan Shauthnessy and his father Robert from Shrewsbury, attended the Frances Foundation event. Ryan will be a senior in the fall at Red Bank Regional. Ryan battled leukemia hospitalized for over 7 months with five chemo treatments... He has been out of the hospital for three months and can't say enough great things about the treatment he received at Hackensack Meridian University Hospital. Through fundraising efforts, the Shauthnessy's are giving back. Robert comments, "We just donated $20,000 to Hackensack Meridian's Tackle Kids Cancer, a research division of Hackensack University Hospital in Hackensack, NJ." Ryan chimes in commenting, "I'd like to give a shout out of thanks to all of the great nurses and doctors at Hackensack University Hospital, especially Dr. Stacy Rifkin, the head oncologist. Father and son commented how much they enjoyed attending and supporting the Francess Foundation event. "Bob (Heugle) read something somewhere about what Ryan was going through and he just p reached out to us. We are new to the Frances Foundation organization and can't say enough great things about it."
The Frances Foundation recognized the picnic’s namesake Daniel R. Shalloo, Sr. ( 1934-2007), a decorated US Marine and Frances Foundation trustee emeritus. The Frances Foundation also also thanked Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden and Monmouth County Freeholder Director Tom Arnone for their long time generous support. Both gentlemen were in attendance to support the Frances Foundation families. Special thanks to Cracked Olive and Texas Roadhouse for their generous donations.
GAME TALK: Hats off to all of Frances Foundation softball teams who participated in the event: Vonage, The Rainbow Foundation, Cookie's Crumblers, Team Jackson Sharkey, Maggipalooza, Access Systems Integration, the Angels, Union Beach Fire Department, Team Jake and Madi's Team, Gwennie, the Monmouth County. Sheriff’s Department, Mya/IFF….. Lots of one run games decided late including a thriller championship game won by the Champions Team Mya against the Sheriff’s Department 2-1.
Thanks as well to our sister charities Kick Cancer Overboard and the Dean Michael Clarizio Cancer Foundation for attending and for your wonderful support.
What does the Frances Foundation do? During the last month alone, the Frances Foundation has delivered approx. $15,000.00 in smiles and assistance to numerous families. Every penny goes to help pediatric families in ways like:
★ Treating Young Warriors and Families to Trips to Disney
★ Hosting Hospital Party and Present Holiday Gifts to the Children
★ Serving Thanksgiving Dinner at Various Hospitals
★ Paying Stressful Bills, including Back Rent, Utilities, Car Repair, Gas and Uninsured Medical
★ Sending Kids and Their Families To Sporting Events
★ Bringing Smiles to Kids with VIP Limos, Dinners, Shows and Concerts
★ Mother's Day Flowers and Father's Day Treats to the Warrior's Parents
★ Hosting a Summer Picnic and Pool Party
★ Donating Money for Pediatric Cancer Research at St. Jude's Children's Hospital
★ During the Last 14 Years, donating over 2 MILLION DOLLARS to our Courageous Warriors, Heroic Angels & Their Families
★ EVERY PENNY DONATED GOES TO THE KIDS AND THEIR FAMILIES ★
★ THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT ★
If you are looking for an organization of caring, selfless volunteers who give their time and talents to work tirelessly to make a difference for Kids Fighting Cancer, then the Frances Foundation is a wonderful option:
For more information about the Frances Foundation click here.
For information about Jake the Tank click here.
History of the namesake of the foundation:
On July 26, 2004 a certificate of incorporation was filed with the State of New Jersey Secretary of State's office officially giving the birth to a new non-profit charitable organization known as "The Frances Foundation for Kids Fighting Cancer, Inc". The Foundation's inspirational namesake, Frances Jean Nolan Heugle, taken by cancer in March 2000, had a very special love for all children. In her own suffering, she was more concerned about the children she witnessed suffering. It is in her name that the Frances Foundation helps critically ill children and families battling pediatric cancer.
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