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Children's Cancer Fund Luncheon Chairs Kathleen Strand, luncheon committee co-chair; Event Chairs Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach; Cara Serber, luncheon committee co-chair; and Brittney Bannon, development director, Children's Cancer Fund. Photo by David Quisenberry.

 

Beloved Event Features Cancer Patients, Survivors, Celebrities and Sponsors in a Fashion Show

As They Take the Runway for Pediatric Cancer Research

 

Cara Serber - a Southlake resident, local actress, and luncheon co-chair of the 27th Annual Children's Cancer Fund Luncheon - is very familiar with the good work of Children's Cancer Fund, founded in 1982, to support clinical and laboratory research for pediatric cancer.  Her daughter Libby, now 9, was diagnosed with a Stage 4 Wilms' Tumor, a cancer of the kidney, when she was 6 years old. Libby had surgery to remove a three pound tumor with her right kidney. A few days later a piece of tumor was found in her heart and lungs and she had open heart surgery. After 7 months of chemotherapy and radiation, Libby was declared "no evidence of disease."  

Libby's experience with cancer opened Cara's eyes to the world of pediatric cancer and the desperate need for research and funding. Libby has proudly been a model for the last two years in the Children's Cancer Fund Luncheon.

“I  jumped at the chance to be involved in this year's Children’s Cancer Fund Luncheon as a chair and to be a small part of this organization that truly saves the lives of our children and gives hope to families who so desperately need it,” added Serber.

The Children’s Cancer Fund 27th Annual Luncheon will be held on Friday, April 17, 2015, at 11:30 a.m. at the Hilton Anatole, in Dallas. Longtime Honorary Event Chairmen Troy Aikman (chaired for 18 years) and Roger Staubach (chaired for all 27 years) will join Luncheon Committee Co-Chairs Cara Serber and Kathleen Strand, along with celebrities and local media, to take the runway with 21 young cancer patients and numerous pediatric cancer survivors in a special runway fashion show, sponsored by Dillard’s and produced by RSC Show Productions.  KDFW FOX 4 NewsAnchors and supportersSteve Eagar and Clarice Tinsley will serve as Master and Mistress of Ceremonies at the event.  The luncheon is slated to raise over $450,000 for pediatric cancer research. 

“With over $7 million in funds raised, since 1982, for pediatric cancer research, Children’s Cancer Fund continues to fund critical research while improving treatments for hundreds of children throughout the greater North Texas community,” said Luncheon Committee Co-Chair Cara Serber. “A significant amount of these funds are raised through this annual luncheon.  This day brings children living with cancer together for an unforgettable, embracing, and heartwarming experience.”

Serber, a professional actress seen at many DFW theatre venues, is also a commercial actress and is represented by The Mary Collins agency. Cara and her husband Jeff have two daughters, Allie, 6 and Libby, 9.  Now a healthy, thriving, happy third grader at Walnut Grove Elementary in Southlake, Libby shares her mom's love for the stage and has dreams of performing on Broadway. She is playing Little Red Riding Hood in The Acting Studio's production of "Into the Woods."

Children’s Cancer Fund brings together a host of local celebrities, dignitaries, sponsors, and media personalities to serve as runway escorts for the Children’s Health Children’s Medical Center patients modeling in the fashion show. The luncheon and fashion show raise awareness and funds for children’s cancer research and programs at Children’s Medical Center while serving as a positive social-psychological experience for children undergoing cancer treatment. Escorts include Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach, current Dallas Cowboys players, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Miss Texas Teen USA, and Miss Texas America.

Tickets are $150 each or $1,500 per table of 10.   Contact Children’s Cancer Fund at 972-664-1450 or visit www.ChildrensCancerFund.com for reservations and more information.  This year raffle tickets for $100 (or 6 for $500) will be sold in advance of and at the event for a chance to receive a 2015 NISSAN Altima, 2015 NISSAN Rogue or $20,000 cash prize donated by Clay Cooley Automotive Group.

The finale of the show each year is a special time for all the children, both those currently battling cancer and the survivors, to join together on stage.  Amber Carrington and Justin Rivers, both from NBC’s “The Voice,” will sing for the finale of the show. 

Children’s Cancer Fund was founded 33 years ago by a coalition of parents whose children were receiving cancer therapy at Children’s Medical Center.  The organizers have since been joined by community leaders, dedicated volunteers, and health professionals in their fundraising efforts.  CCF is one of the nation’s leading fundraising groups in supporting local research toward treatment and prevention of childhood cancers.  Among the programs supported by Children’s Cancer Fund are the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program at Children's Medical Center and the Children's Cancer Fund Comprehensive Center for Research in Pediatric Oncology and Hematology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, which is gaining a national reputation for its work in eradicating childhood cancer.  In 2002, Children’s Cancer Fund initiated funding for a full-time Child Life Assistant at Children’s Medical Center’s Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders to assist the outpatient team.  The primary goal of the Child Life Assistant is to make each of the 80-90 daily outpatients’ visits a more positive experience.  This position is funded annually by CCF, helping to ease the emotional strain of ongoing treatments, some lasting several years.

Children’s Cancer Fund has created a special 2015 Children’s Cancer Fund Inspiration Book for this year’s luncheon that will be unveiled at the show in support of pediatric cancer research.  The photo book will include photos of the children, event chairs and physicians as well as original artwork by the cancer patients participating in the fashion show. CCF Inspiration Books are $15 each. To purchase copies after the luncheon, please call Children’s Cancer Fund at 972-664-1450 or visit www.ChildrensCancerFund.com

Proceeds from this event go to Children’s Cancer Fund to help advance pediatric cancer research and treatment programs at Children’s Medical Center, benefiting children worldwide. 

 “The enthusiasm, support, and generosity in the ballroom the day of the fashion show is nothing short of inspiring,” said Luncheon Co-Chair Kathleen Strand. “It’s very humbling to see everyone come together with their time, treasures, and talents for the children. This level of commitment enables Children’s Cancer Fund to pursue strategic investments in research, ensuring CCF is truly a movement for a pediatric cancer-free tomorrow.” 

 

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