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Our Spring Update

As the country and our state begin to slowly re-open, we hope that you remain safe and healthy. We continue to send virtual love out to you!


Did you know that National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th, Florence Nightingale’s birthday?

What would we do without the men and women who have made this their profession? Nurses are the ones who make everyone’s life easier – patients as well as doctors. They are our heroes, as they work day in and day out to keep us safe. And now more than ever we realize how dedicated and selfless they truly are.

To show the Endowment’s appreciation for these incredible people who are near to our hearts, our #CSCEHeroes, on May 6th, partnering with our friends at Huse Culinary, we delivered 60 boxed lunches to the nurses and staff on the pediatric oncology floor at Riley Children’s Health.

We also hand-delivered 70 yard signs to Riley Children’s Health, and their staff placed them in unsuspecting nurses yards. Based on all the photos we received, it was a huge hit and Patty confirmed it: 

“THANK YOU so much. This truly was a blessing and loved by all!” Patty Nannenga, BSN, RN, Clinical Manager of Operations, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Infusion Room & Clinic.

Special thanks to Zink Distributing Company who donated the yard signs along with the printing!


It’s exciting news! The National Institute of Health now ranks Riley Hospital/Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics sixth in the nation for pediatric cancer research. They have moved up two spots which is an amazing accomplishment!

Those who donate directly to our Caroline Symmes Cancer Endowment are helping us fund a Non-Central Nervous System Solid Tumor program, supporting Dr. Jamie Renbarger’s Precision Genomics Program at Riley Children’s Health. This program focuses on previously neglected reoccurring pediatric cancers – like the Wilms’ Tumor that Caroline courageously battled – which are often the most aggressive and difficult to cure.

This cutting-edge genome-based research is enabling physicians to move beyond just identifying the location of the cancer within the body, to understanding how the cancer is interacting with the unique genetic characteristics of each child and pinpointing the safest and most effective medication for his or her condition. 

“We could not have achieved this much growth so rapidly without our generous and visionary donors,” said D. Wade Clapp, M.D., Chairman of Pediatrics for Indiana University School of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health.”Donor support has enabled us to recruit world-class investigators and fund their exploratory work that leads to larger grants. These gifts are leading to tangible progress in pediatric medicine, which translates to young lives saved and better quality of life for survivors of childhood disease.”

You, as a donor played a significant role in this growth!

You are making a difference!

Meet our New Summer Intern

Zach Yetter is joining the Endowment this month as our first summer intern! His tasks over these next few months will include assisting us in setting up the online platform of Google Ads, helping to brainstorm new initiatives, helping with upcoming events and working with the Teen Board. We plan to keep him busy!

Zach is currently studying communication at Hanover College in southern Indiana. He is minoring in Spanish and is also a member of the Business Scholars Program. He is a proud 2017 graduate of Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter High School. Zach has interned at the Indiana State Fairgrounds the past two years and has been involved in non-profit work through his fraternity and school. He is excited to gain great experience and to help our Endowment in any way possible.

Zach Yetter


During the weeks of being quarantined because of COVID-19, our Teen Board stayed active with two social media campaigns.

First, short and creative “Take Care/Stay Aware” videos shared tips on how our teens have been staying healthy and what you can do as well.

Second, the “Support Local” posts highlighted 4-6 restaurants every Friday afternoon, giving our followers ideas on where they could get a meal, either to pick up or have delivered.

Our Facebook engagements went up 64%! Our Instagram also gained popularity – in one week we reached 600 people with 1,917 impressions and 49 interactions!



With eleven of our inaugural Teen Board Members graduating, this past February applications went out to begin searching for new high school students who wanted to join our board and become involved with the Endowment. Just like our first year, we received over 50 applications. And because of the stay-at-home order, we interviewed thirty-two over Zoom!

After these interviews and careful selection, with the remaining inaugural members, our new board has 22 teens from the following schools:

Avon High School
Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School
Carmel High School
Franklin Central High School
Homestead High School
North Central High School
Park Tudor School
University High School
Zionsville Community High School

The Teen Board’s key goals are to create peer-to-peer fundraising efforts and campaigns within their specific school and the community, selling merchandise, developing interactive challenges between their nine high schools and volunteering at Endowment events.

Caroline Classic 2020

Please join the Caroline Symmes Cancer Endowment at The Country Club of Indianapolis for a round of golf this September! The day will be filled with food, drinks, prizes and good times on the golf course as we raise money to fund pediatric cancer research at Riley Children’s Health.

Monday, September 14th

Registration starts at 10:30 a.m. Tee time is noon.

The Country Club of Indianapolis (2801 Country Club Road, Indianapolis, IN 46234)

Interested in a Sponsorship or Team Registration? Details are here!


For the last six years we have looked forward to the Pink Balloon; getting dressed in our finest and brightest pink, celebrating the Endowment with food, drink and entertainment, all while raising money.

This year will be different.

We are currently considering options on how to creatively hold an event where we can safely be together.

Stay tuned!


West Fork Whiskey Co., an Indianapolis-based craft whiskey distillery and our Endowment recently announced a new way to fight cancer. Together we have created a vodka with the proceeds directly supporting pediatric cancer research in central Indiana.

The vodka, dubbed ‘For Caroline; A Vodka with a Purpose’, was created to financially support the Endowment in perpetuity. The concept is simple, West Fork Whiskey will donate the net proceeds of each bottle sold back to the Caroline Symmes Cancer Endowment. The vodka hit store shelves at Crown Liquors throughout central Indiana a few months ago, and we are now hoping to distribute it to other local retailers.

“When our distillery realized we couldn’t give large chunks of money back to organizations we are passionate about, we looked for ways we could be more impactful. So, instead of large chunks of money, we decided to use our supply chain to create a product that could support a great cause forever. Our hope is that in time, we will be able to give back way more money than a single donation while continuing to raise awareness for this very worthy cause.” Said Blake Jones, Co-Founder & President of West Fork Whiskey Co.

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