Aubree Montgomery receives her gift bag from Santa.

Over 125 guests, including patients, survivors, family members, hospital staff and supporters gathered at The Periodic Table in Columbia, MD on Saturday, December 2nd to enjoy an afternoon of friendship, survivorship and activities, hosted by The Children’s Cancer Foundation, Inc.

Kids undergoing treatment, their siblings, parents and extended family members enjoyed a delicious lunch, a visit from Santa, crafts, raffles and gifts that were donated by our generous community, including CCF Board member Charmel McMillan, who generously provided Target gift cards for each child.  The afternoon provided a much-needed break for some of our special guests who are undergoing treatment or recently were discharged from the hospital.  This annual occasion reminds CCF staff and supporters how these patients and survivors, and their families, are incredibly resilient and brave. They inspire us to remain focused on finding cures for pediatric cancer.

CCF Board member Steve Coomes and his wife, Carolyn Coomes (our 2023 Hero Awardees), volunteered with check-in and the ever-popular “Make your own pizza station,” as they have for years.  Elda Devarie of EMD Sales (our 2023 Gift of Life Awardee), joined us as well, distributing hand-knit hats, visiting with all the families, and donating a most generous $5,000 in $100 gift cards from Giant Food to the families for the holidays through EMD Sales’ Bags of Love program. CCF is also grateful to Alisha Bartels for donating many of the toys given out to the children, and to Giant Food for providing the beautiful cake and decor.

Much of the care staff from the University of Maryland pediatric oncology department were able to join us, offering some touching reunions and a special opportunity for patients to see staff outside the hospital environment. CCF extends appreciation to the University of Maryland’s Executive Administrative Asst. Vernell Sobers for all she does to ensure these local families attend and are celebrated.

CCF extends our appreciation to Lance Cook, owner of The Periodic Table, and the energetic and kind staff of The Periodic Table, the families, our partner hospitals, the Verrilli Family, Ellicott City Volunteer Fire Department, and of course, Santa!

Happy faces were in abundance throughout the afternoon.

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