The Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation celebrated the 21st anniversary of its Bear Tie Ball with more than 600 in attendance March 8 at the UIC Forum.
Themed "Into the Wild, A Road to the Cure," this black-tie event raised funds to support children and families battling pediatric cancer.
A live auction featured a guitar signed by members of the Rolling Stones and a dinner party hosted by longtime supporters Tracy and Russ Scurto. A silent auction included artwork created by young cancer patients.
"It was 21 years ago when an 8-year-old boy named Barrett 'Bear' Krupa inspired his mother, Kathleen, to form a foundation bearing his name. While undergoing cancer treatment, Bear always worried about the other pediatric cancer patients much more than he worried about himself," said WMAQ-Ch. 5's Peggy Kusinski, who served as emcee.
Kathleen Casey, CEO and founder of Bear Necessities, and her daughter Courtney Krupa, vice president/director of marketing and public relations, presented the William J. Casey Hope Awards to the Magellan Corp. and Dr. Stewart Goldman.
Goldman, a pediatric neuro-oncologist at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, was one of Bear's doctors. "Knowing Bear was always about knowing fun. I learned about courage, strength and giving back from him," said Goldman.
Honorary Bear Hug Ambassador Abigail Phillips, 25, was a patient of Goldman and is a cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with brain cancer at 13 and is now working on her master's degree. She said she "owed her life" to "Dr. Stew."
This year's ball raised more than $650,000 to support the Bear Discoveries Program, which provides grants to researchers, and for the Bear Hugs Program, which provides customized experiences for kids battling cancer.
Freelance writer Candace Jordan is involved with many local organizations, including some whose events she covers.
Click here to see photos from these events.
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