Local municipalities, businesses, patients and others have joined the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada to raise awareness about the needs, opportunities and challenges that face children with cancer as well as their families through the new shineGOLD community initiative. It was developed by the nonprofit Candlelighters organization in conjunction with September’s designation as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Two illumination events will launch shineGOLD. Lightbulbs at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign will change to gold at 11 a.m., and the Fremont Street Experience canopy turns all gold at 8 p.m. Downtown Summerlin’s ONE Summerlin will illuminate gold at 7 p.m. Additionally, lights at City Hall, High Roller at the Linq and Town Square Las Vegas will all go gold when the sun goes down.
Organizations are spotlighting childhood cancer on Sept. 1 and throughout the month in a variety of ways. For example, the cities of Henderson, Las Vegas and North Las Vegas and the Clark County Commission are issuing proclamations; Galleria Mall guests can #shopGOLD and receive exclusive discounts; several businesses are adding Candlelighters window decals; and media outlets are donating airtime and ad space. Spare change thrown into the Town Square water feature through September will be donated to Candlelighters, as will proceeds from a pre fixe menu at Crave American Kitchen & Sushi Bar in Downtown Summerlin and $1.00 for every specialty lemonade drink sold at Hash House A Go Go.
“We’re so appreciative of the support of so many great partners for the inaugural shineGOLD campaign. Their recognition of the needs of kids with cancer and their families will assist us with what we do for them every day,” said Melissa Cipriano, Candlelighters executive director. “This effort is significant because cancer continues to be the leading cause of death by disease for children with the incidence and death rate rising in southern Nevada every year.”
More than 75 children are diagnosed with cancer in southern Nevada annually, and approximately 15 children lose their battle each year. Only 4 percent of National Cancer Institute funding is dedicated to childhood cancer research, and only three new medications have been approved for children in the last 20 years.
Cipriano added the public is invited to “shineGOLD” in a variety of ways:
• Wear gold, change out lightbulbs to gold/yellow bulbs or exhibit gold at work or school.
• Use the #shineGOLD or #showyourgold hashtags and challenge others to participate.
• Customize your Facebook or Twitter profile picture www.candlelightersnv.org
• Donate to Candlelighters: www.candlelightersnv.org. As little as $5 helps with needed prescription co-pays, and $20 supports programs for families in financial crisis with utility bills and gas cards to get to and from doctor visits. Programs also help with rent and mortgage payments, travel for treatment, funeral expenses and college scholarships.
• Sign up to race, walk, volunteer or donate to the Superhero 5K with Chet Buchanan, the annual major Candlelighters fundraiser at Exploration Park in Mountain’s Edge. This year’s event and festivities is Saturday, Sept. 10. www.candlelightersnv.org
• Volunteer to help to help with Candlelighters events and programs or in the office.
Current shineGOLD partners include: City of Las Vegas, City of Henderson, City of North Las Vegas, Clark County, Downtown Summerlin/The Howard Hughes Corporation, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Crave American Kitchen & Sushi Bar, Cupkates by Kate, 8 News Now, Fremont Street Experience, Hash House A Go Go, High Roller at the Linq, iHeartMedia, Galleria Mall at Sunset, KTNV-TV Channel 13, Las Vegas Woman, Pinpoint Publications, Vegas Seven/Wendoh Media, and Town Square Las Vegas.
Since 1978, Candlelighters has helped thousands of families, focusing on three main areas of support: emotional, quality of life and financial assistance. Candlelighters serves approximately 125 families monthly, and as many as 600 children (sibling and diagnosed child combined) throughout the year. Candlelighters does not receive state or federal funding. The nonprofit relies on donations to fund its many programs and services for children with cancer and their families.
About Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada
Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada is the first and oldest nonprofit organization in Nevada serving children, from birth to 21 years old, and families coping with childhood cancer. Its mission is to provide emotional support, quality of life programs, and financial assistance for children and their families affected by childhood cancer. Since its establishment 37 years ago, Candlelighters has helped thousands of families, and now serves 125 families each month and as many as 600 children (diagnosed child and sibling combined) per year. For information, visit www.candlelightersnv.org.
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