HOISINGTON — Kans for Kids will celebrate 25 years of providing support to families living with childhood cancer with a 25th Anniversary Extravaganza on March 23 at the Great Bend Events Center. The event will celebrate the 35 children who have been assisted by Kans for Kids over the years, as well as expressing gratitude to those who have faithfully supported the organization since 1994.
The Extravaganza will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a social hour followed by a meal catered by Weaver’s BBQ, Ransom. Pam Stetler, Hoisington will provide cupcakes with Clara Barton Hospital and The University of Kansas Health System providing cookies.
Kans for Kids ‘family’ to share their stories
Guest speakers will inspire guests with stories of hope. Katie Schwartz from Omaha, Nebraska, the inspiration behind Kans for Kids, was diagnosed with cancer when she was 9 months old. Now 25, she will open the evening with words of welcome as she shares her story. She is cancer free, engaged to Chris Wozny, and teaching hearing impaired children in Omaha.
Mary Lou Klein, formerly of Great Bend and Holyrood, will share words of faith. She was on the first Kans for Kids board and is now a retired pastor, living in Baldwin City. She and husband Ron will return to celebrate and give the blessing prior to the meal.
Andrea Macy, originally from Ellinwood, was diagnosed with leukemia (ALL) when she was 15. She is a survivor and received degrees from both KSU and KU. She’s a pediatric oncology nurse at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, married to Josh Sturgis and has a 2-year-old daughter, Ruby. She will share her story, Words of Resilience.
Kaito Richter, 10, will present words of a warrior. He was diagnosed with a Ewing’s Sarcoma when he was 23 months old. The son of Nick and Amber Richter, he is currently in remission and attends Jefferson School in Great Bend. He enjoys baseball, basketball and staying active. He is a Kans for Kids Ambassador and wants to play in the Major Leagues and be an architect when he grows up.
“Christy Huslig is the mother of Dade Cannon who got his angel wings in January of 2018 after battling leukemia for 9 years,” Codirector Debbie Reif said. “Diagnosed at the age of 5, Dade inspired everyone he met and changed the lives of many.”
The Dade Cannon Memorial Scholarship was established in his memory through Kans for Kids for the siblings of any child who has been assisted by Kans for Kids. She will present words of hope and recognize the first group of kids to receive scholarships.
Eric Harbaugh, Russell, the father of Caroline Harbaugh who was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis at the age of 5 months, will share his daughter’s story. She’s now 4 years old and has defied all the odds. She was the first child to receive assistance from the Kans for Kids Outreach Programs that are now available in Russell, Rice and Pawnee Counties.
Sarah Reif Bricker and Shane Reif, founders of Kans for Kids when they were 11 and 8 years old, will present “Words of Gratitude” as they express their appreciation to the communities of Barton County and beyond that have so generously supported Kans for Kids for 25 years.
Dave Lewis to entertain
Entertainment will be provided by Dave Lewis, Manhattan, as he presents Game Show Road. Audience members will be engaged in “Fabulous Feud” which is much like the popular television game show “Family Feud.”
“Surveys that generate thought and laughter, along with an engaging and affable host, and guests as contestants will make for a hilarious end to this wonderful event,” Reif said. “Everyone is sure to have tons of fun with Dave.”
“It’s hard to believe that Kans for Kids is 25 years old,” said Reif. “Duane and I have been very blessed to be just a small part of the lives of 35 kids, our heroes, who have battled cancer. We couldn’t have done it without the support, love and guidance of so many people over the years. God has blessed the organization, the families and us. We hope everyone will join us for this very special evening as we celebrate our 35 kids.”
For more information: www.kansforkids.org or 620-653-2210 or 620-617-6888.