Peach Bowl, Inc. to Promote Childhood Cancer Awareness Month at Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games
Organization will spotlight the Peach Bowl LegACy Fund’s efforts in the fight against childhood cancer.
In an effort to raise awareness for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September, Peach Bowl, Inc. is planning to highlight the cause during each of its Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games featuring (1) Alabama vs. (14) Miami Sept. 4 and Louisville vs. (25) Ole Miss Sept. 6.
The golden ribbon logo for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month will be prominently painted on the field for both games. In addition, several video segments will be played on the Mercedes-Benz Stadium Halo Board during the games highlighting the work done by the Peach Bowl LegACy Fund. Finally, proceeds from the 50/50 Raffle from both games will be donated back to the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (Children’s) through the Peach Bowl LegACy Fund.
A complementary partnership between Peach Bowl, Inc. and Children’screated the Peach Bowl Touchdowns for Children’s program whereby fans pledge money for every touchdown their favorite team scores this season. Peach Bowl, Inc. then matches all money raised, dollar for dollar, with all proceeds donated back to the Peach Bowl LegACy Fund.
“We are all in on this fight and we’re doing everything we can to help raise general awareness for the fight against childhood cancer to get more people involved,” said Gary Stokan, Peach Bowl, Inc. CEO and president. “The Peach Bowl LegACy Fund is going to take the fight right to childhood cancer until a breakthrough is made.”
The Peach Bowl LegACy Fund was created in 2019 with a $20 million donation to The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s. The donation represents the largest donation ever given by the Peach Bowl and one of the largest ever received by Children’s. The Peach Bowl LegACy Fund is hyper-focused on funding clinical drug trials for the most promising new drugs and treatment options for children fighting cancer.
Annually, only four percent of the National Institute of Health’s federal funding for cancer research benefits childhood cancer, making it nearly impossible to move the needle on clinical trials for new drugs. In the last 40 years, only one out of every 22 cancer drugs approved were approved for use in children.
“Our hope is that through our efforts, people will educate themselves and get involved,” Stokan added. “It’s going to take all of us to finally defeat this horrible disease.”
The overall goal of the Peach Bowl LegACy Fund is to ensure that high-priority novel agents, devices and treatment strategies can be tested in patients at an accelerated pace, eventually leading to additional treatment options for patients. It is unique in that funds are earmarked specifically for research and clinical trials to develop more effective and less toxic treatments for pediatric patients. The result is a targeted program where the greatest need will be targeted and met with funds that can make a difference, changing how we fight cancer in the future.
“Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is an opportunity for us to reflect on the resilience and strength of the thousands of kids who are diagnosed with cancer each year,” said Dr. Dan Wechsler, Section Chief of Oncology at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s. “As a leading national program, we are developing innovative treatments right here in Atlanta to provide the best care possible for children with relapsed cancers. All of us at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s are incredibly grateful for the generous support of the Peach Bowl LegACy Fund and for the potential this has to change the future of pediatric cancer treatment.”
Currently, the Peach Bowl LegACy Fund is funding five ongoing clinical trials and having great success in the early stages of patient enrollment.
· Recurrent Brain Tumor Trial – Dr. Tobey Macdonald
· Recurrent Leukemia Trial – Dr. Kirsten Williams
· Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Trial – Dr. Melinda Pauly
· High Risk Solid Tumor Trial – Dr. Kathryn Sutton
· Neuroblastoma Trial – Dr. Kelly Goldsmith
Honoring Anna Charles’ Life
Anna Charles Hollis, the six-year-old daughter of Benji Hollis, the Peach Bowl’s vice president of sales, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) on April 15, 2018. After a five-month fight, Anna Charles succumbed to the disease and passed away on September 16.
Anna Charles’ fight against AML has served to focus the Peach Bowl’s gift and is the inspiration for the Peach Bowl LegACy Fund, named in her honor, and meant to carry on her fight.
“The best way we can honor the life and legacy of Anna Charles is by investing in new drugs, new treatments that were not available to the Hollis family,” Stokan said. “This is how she will live on, by creating hope for all the other kids who will come after her. This is how we are honoring her memory.”