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We’re Hitting the Ground Running in 2024!


In late December 2023, we handed a check to Liz Elkas, President of Riley Children’s Foundation, for $300,000! This donation will go towards the Caroline Symmes Endowment for Pediatric Cancer Research at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University HealthThis endowed fund, established in early 2021, is currently being used to research all types of childhood cancers, which is essential since cancer remains the #1 cause of death by disease for kids in America.

We continue to support our Endowed Chair and the Precision Genomics Program at Riley Children’s Health, through our renamed, original endowed fund, Caroline Symmes Chair in Pediatric Cancer Research. We know how important this Non-Central Nervous System Solid Tumor program is and the cutting-edge genome-based research this team is conducting.

Each year an estimated 400,000+ new cases of cancer affect children worldwide. That is over 1,000 new kids affected every day. And despite this fact, less than 5% of the federal government’s total funding for cancer research is dedicated to pediatric cancers each year. This is why we work so hard to raise crucial funds for researchers.

To date, the combined total donation we have given towards our two endowed funds is: $4,335,238! And it is all because of you; our donors and our corporate partners.


February 11, 2024!

The 2023-2024 Teen Board is working hard in preparation of the
Second Annual Day of Hope that is just around the corner!

They have big shoes to fill, because through fun activities, calling and texting family and friends, last year the 2022-2023 board raised an astounding $42,260 during the first annual Day of Hope!

We should say, that we have no doubt the current board will knock it out of the park.
They started working together last August, and with new faces as well as some old faces they were excited to start working. Since then this current board has raised
$52,019 through individual fundraising.

Mason Munn, chairing Community Engagement, coordinated a volunteer activity at the MLK Center. After a presentation and tour of the facility, teen board members put together classroom tables and painted a stairwell.

SaraGrace Toney, senior at Indiana Agriculture and Technology, is chairing Fundraising Support, and sends out “Fundraising Friday” ideas each week! She has been generating new ideas and getting everyone excited about raising dollars for the Endowment.

Zoey Hornback, senior at Carmel High School organized an event at her school: Tailgate 4 Life.

Janie Akers, senior at North Central High School, put together a Pink Out Dance Party through the Indiana Dance Academy.

For the second year in a row, Liam Hoffman and Mason Munn, both seniors at Avon High School, decorated a tree for the Avon Festival of Trees.

Mary McCluskey and Karis Krampen, both seniors at Brownsburg High School, organized a Pink Out Game for the girls and boys basketball games.

Watching our high-schoolers create individual fundraising activities has been fun to watch, and we are looking forward to seeing what this collective group will do during Day of Hope next month! If you would like to support the overall Teen Board during Day of Hope, drop by the Endowment Headquarters beginning at 2:30 p.m. or make a donation here.

A word from our Teen Board President!

Dear Caroline Symmes Community,

The Teen Board is entering 2024 strong! It was a pleasure seeing everyone at the Holiday Open House last month. The Teen Board really appreciates the donors who support our ambitions and goals. Thanks to you, we are able to get closer to a world without cancer.

The genuine fervor and passion of the cause is so evident in this group of individuals, and it has been truly an honor developing alongside them. Every month, we meet to discuss and implement advocacy and fundraising plans in the broader community. Currently, we are preparing for our annual Day of Hope. Day of Hope is an embodiment of the Teen Board’s dedication and efforts from throughout the whole year. We hope to see you all there on February 11. At 2:30pm, we will be having our “Pie-in-the-Face” Hour, where a $5 donation will earn the donor the ability to pie any member of the Teen Board in the face. We will be using the leadership and fundraising skills we have been honing all year to expand the Endowment’s missions and values on this special day,

With best wishes for a Happy New Year,
Lara Rahman
2023-2024 Teen Board President

A word from our Teen Board
Philanthropy/Research Committee Chair!

A new Teen Board committee, the Philanthropy/Research Committee, was started with the 2023-2024 board to identify and investigate unique research efforts around the world focused on pediatric cancer research. The focus has been on names familiar to the endowment as well as cutting-edge organizations gaining prominence with their recent efforts.

Chaired by Holyn Drook, the committee recently made a few presentations to the Teen Board and they officially chose to donate $25,000 to both AMPATH and Oncoheroes Biosciences!

At the January board meeting, Dr. Terry Vic was able to join us over a Zoom call from Kenya, where he discussed his efforts at expanding pediatric cancer research and advocacy on a global scale through AMPATH. They are developing training resources, improving the general medical knowledge of childhood cancer in communities across western Kenya, and are training medical team members on the basics of pediatric oncology to change the lives of kids with cancer beyond the United States. AMPATH means to touch one billion lives by 2025.

Oncoheroes Biosciences has recently been granted two clinical trials by the FDA to pursue new drugs: a highly unusual and exciting opportunity. The funds they receive go directly towards their personal research projects as they cover the entire drug development spectrum from bench to bedside. We chose to donate to Oncoheroes to be a part of their journey to becoming the global leader in delivering new pediatric oncology drugs by developing and commercializing lifesaving medicines.
On behalf of the Philanthropy/Research Committee, we are incredibly honored and excited to expand our reach as a Teen Board in the field of pediatric cancer and continue to develop our connections with organizations beyond the Indianapolis area!

The Endowment has a
New Home!

This past August the Endowment moved it’s headquarters from Carmel
to a much larger space in the Glendale Town Center.

The teen board helped with moving and setting up the new area.

Thank you to Michael Mervis for renting a U-Haul and being a huge help with the move.
Thank you to Stenz Corporation for painting and making the interior look so inviting.

December’s Holiday Open House
was the first event in the new headquarters.

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