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‘Clips for Cancer’ and events throughout September raise more than $375,000 for children with cancer

Fundraising continues through October with more events

Clips ffor Cancer
Mackenzie shaving Armando Llechu, Amy Frith, Lilly Bendell shaving Dr. Jamal Ksar

Clips for Cancer and Childhood Cancer Awareness month in September events raised more than $375,000 to benefit kids with cancer at Golisano Children’s Hospital.

The 6th Annual Clips for Cancer, presented by Florida Radiology Consultants, is the catalyst and signature event that brings the community together and inspired record giving. The head shaving event raised $243,778 of the month’s total, providing critical support for programs and services for local children diagnosed with cancer at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida through Barbara’s Friends – Golisano Children’s Hospital’s cancer fund.

“We are humbled and gratified by this year’s record-breaking total from everything that happened in 30 days. The community rallied to inspire and empower children with cancer,” said Amy Frith, senior director of Barbara’s Friends. “We are so grateful for generous donors, our many event sponsors and the local businesses that held promotions during September to ensure that no child is denied lifesaving care or turned away because of their family’s inability to cover the cost of treatment. We can’t do what we do without the community’s support.”

Throughout the month, more than 30 local community leaders raised money and had their heads shaved by 21 pediatric cancer patients or survivors for Clips for Cancer, sharing awareness of the effects of cancer treatment, which often include hair loss. In addition, organizations and businesses throughout Southwest Florida held fundraisers for Barbara’s Friends:

  •  Riverdale High School sold T-shirts, this year designed by Alba Cuka, a 13-year-old from Naples currently in treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The sales raised $10,000, bringing the total raised in four years to $24,000.
  •  Pure Barre & Cycle Bar offered classes for Clips for Cancer, raising $3,000, raising a total of $8,500 in four years.
  •  3 Pepper Burrito, with eight locations in Southwest Florida, donated all proceeds from kids’ meals sold in September, raising $6,152, for over $19,000 raised in four years.
  • Perfect Game, the top 14U baseball players in the country, held fundraising competitions, raising $83,054.
  • The Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation as part of Dunkin Shine Gold, raised $13,693. Guests at Southwest Florida stores made a $2 donation and received a free Gold Joy Donut.
  • The Mighty Mussels hosted a “Cancer Sucks” night, raising almost $150.
  •  Bell Tower Shops hosted a Family Fun Day, including the first ever community Clips for Cancer Shave inside Dave & Busters, which helped raise over $500.

Sponsors of Clips for Cancer included Presenting Sponsor Florida Radiology Consultants, Stage Sponsor Cameratta Companies, Salon Sponsor Great Clips and In-kind Sponsor Dunkin.

Each year, Barbara’s Friends funds help families with children in treatment, such as providing gas cards to make sure kids can get to and from Golisano for daily treatments, paying for medications when insurance will not cover at-home chemo or pain relief drugs, or purchasing meals so parents can stay by their children during treatment. Barbara’s Friends also offers college scholarships, so that survivors can apply for college funds.

Donations raised through Clips for Cancer also help fund medical advances in technology and care, including the addition of pediatric neurosurgical services at Golisano and the first-ever total immersion chemotherapy room at the Golisano Children’s Hospital Naples pediatric hematology and oncology clinic.

Thanks to events like Clips for Cancer and the generous Southwest Florida community, Barbara’s Friends has a 28-year history of helping kids with cancer and life-threatening blood disorders. To date, Barbara’s Friends has cared for more than 10,000 local children.

This year’s event was dedicated to Frank Haskell, 93, a passionate supporter of area children with cancer and life-threatening blood disorders, who passed away in July. Haskell co-founded Barbara’s Friends with his wife Betty, in honor of their daughter, Barbara, who died from cancer. In his honor, the Frank Haskell Endowment Fund was established to fund the Barbara’s Friends Scholarship, with $50,000 contributed by the Lee Health Foundation board with a challenge match to the community. During Clips for Cancer $37,290 was raised for the $50,000 match. The community can still help donate to complete the match. For information, visit BarbarasFriends.org.

Barbara’s Friends support is needed all year. Donors can still help shavees reach their goals and make a donation through Oct. 30 at BarbarasFriends.org/ClipsForCancer.

In addition, local businesses are hosting events in October to benefit Barbara’s Friends including:

  • Breakfast at Mel’s Diners on Friday, Oct. 20 from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. All Mel’s Diners in Southwest Florida will offer a free pancake breakfast with a $10 donation to Barbara’s Friends.
  • Witches & Warlocks Halloween Bash at Fort Myers Brewing on Sat. Oct. 28 from 2 to 11 p.m. includes family-friendly festivities, a food truck competition, costume contests, specialty beers on tap, a live DJ and other fun Halloween activities with proceeds to benefit Barbara’s Friends.

About Barbara’s Friends – Helping Kids with Cancer at Golisano Children’s Hospital

Established in 1995, Barbara’s Friends provides equipment, staffing and services to support lifesaving cancer care for children from across Southwest Florida at Golisano Children’s Hospital. The Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program is the only program of its kind in Southwest Florida and has served over 10,000 patients since opening. No child is denied treatment or turned away due to their family’s inability to pay for care. For more information about Barbara’s Friends fund and supporting child patients in your community, please call Lee Health Foundation at 239-343-6950 or visit BarbarasFriends.org.

About Golisano Children’s Hospital

Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is nationally recognized for the quality care of pediatric patients. Established in 1994, Golisano is the only recognized children’s hospital in Southwest Florida. Named a U.S. News Top Pediatric Hospital in 2022, as well as a 2022 Leapfrog Top Children’s Hospital, Golisano Children’s Hospital serves more than 45,000 patients every year in relation to more than 30 specialty pediatric services such as cardiology, neurology, ophthalmology, orthopedics and more. Lee Health opened the current hospital building in May 2017 which offers 135-beds and includes comprehensive pediatric services such as a 24-hour pediatric emergency department, hematology-oncology unit, Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Center, and Level II and Level III NICU with 70 private rooms. For more information, visit GolisanoChildrensSWFL.org.

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