The 8th annual Dancing for the Kids fundraising event, hosted by the Emerging Leaders of Akron Children’s Hospital, raised $140,000 to benefit patient and family services at Akron Children’s Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders.
The event, presented by Adams, Gut & Associates, featured 9 local celebrities who performed on the Akron Civic Theatre stage with their University of Akron dance partners to raise money for Akron Children’s:
- Eileen Alfonso Benson – Women’s Board, Akron Children’s Hospital and Director of New Member Development, Fairlawn Country Club
- Eileen V. Brown – Senior Manager of Advisory Services, Ernst & Young
- Tracy Dowe – Vice President, Relationship Manager, Wells Fargo
- Kylie Rose Jacobs – Patient at Akron Children’s Hospital
- Christine Norman – Retail Operations Specialist, Giant Eagle
- Jill Penrose – Vice President of Human Resources, The J.M. Smucker Co.
- Dr. Megan Sampson – Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist, Akron Children’s Hospital
- Maureen Thune – Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
- Bill Vasilatos – Logistics Planner, Fleet Support, FedEx Custom Critical
The event was emceed by 98.1 KDD’s Keith Kennedy and judged by Dr. Sarah Adams, a pediatrician at Akron Children’s; Vish Bhatt, operations manager for the Showers Family Center at Akron Children’s; and Justin Hilton, senior associate vice president for university relations at Kent State University.
It’s safe to say Akron Children’s patient and cancer survivor Kylie Rose Jacobs stole the show with her performance to “Tiny Dancer.” She then took the stage again to dance with her younger sister, Emmie, and Creative Motion Dance Studio.
Kylie, age 10, has battled cancer 3 times. She was first diagnosed with a Wilms tumor, a form of kidney cancer, at age 5 and went through 16 rounds of chemotherapy and major surgery to remove her tumor and kidney, along with radiation therapy. A little more than a year after her initial diagnosis, doctors found a spot on her liver and Kylie once again faced chemotherapy and surgeries. The cancer then came back again later that same year.
Now, after numerous rounds of chemo, surgeries and a stem cell transplant, Kylie has been cancer free for more than a year and recently celebrated her first survivorship day. She’s been dancing since age 2 and her mom, Carrie Jacobs, said she thinks dance has helped Kylie get stronger after her battle with cancer.
Kylie capped off her evening by also taking the mirror ball trophy for top fundraiser. She raised more than $28,000 for the Showers Family Center.
Jill Penrose and Maureen Thune also took home mirror ball trophies for their fundraising efforts. Penrose raised $25,953, and Thune raised $15,347.
At the end of the night, $126,411 was announced as the fundraising total, but donations continued to come in and brought the amount raised to $140,694.
Enjoy more photos from the fundraising event!