TeamNEGU Blog


The 8th Annual NEGU Gala – A Celebration of Courageous Smiles!, presented by Youtheory®, was a glowing success! A sold out crowd of more than 750 attendees and over 100 volunteers gathered in the Grand Ballroom of the Disneyland® Hotel on Saturday night to celebrate Courageous Kids fighting cancer and the people and companies that rally behind them and encourage them to Never Ever Give Up. 

Courageous Family celebrating their Jessie award

Courageous Kids and Families on stage with the Rees Family









2019 marks eight years of celebrating Courageous Kids and the compassionate individuals and corporations that help the Jessie Rees Foundation spread Jessie’s message of JOY and her motto to Never Ever Give Up. We were honored to have 46 Courageous Families who are currently battling childhood cancer in the audience. They were cheered on and encouraged throughout the night, as they are the true heroes. 46 is a significant number to the Jessie Rees Foundation as each day in the United States 46 families learn their child has cancer.

There are many people who work hard putting time and effort into helping Courageous Kids fighting cancer who were recognized as Jessie award winners. This year’s winners include; Compassionate Company: Nations Direct Mortgage, Humanitarian of the Year: Jordan Palmer, Community Impact: Melinda Heights Elementary School, Caregiver: Jaime Serna. Caring and compassionate people are the heart and soul of the Jessie Rees Foundation.

Erik Rees said, “On behalf of my family, our Board Of Directors and team, we are humbled and honored to have so many people attend our 8th Annual NEGU Gala – A Celebration of Courageous Smiles! It was especially touching for me to see so many Courageous Families having fun and not thinking about childhood cancer for a few hours. For everyone that used their resources to make the gala an incredible success…THANK YOU! You make me feel like a proud father.”

This year, the event raised over $300,000 to support more families that will hear the devastating news that their child has cancer.


We would like to extend a big thank you to our event sponsors for making this evening possible…

Gold sponsor:Youtheory

Hope sponsors:Nations Direct Mortgage, UPS, Optum Care and Apriem Advisors

Love sponsor: Kenny the Printer

Joy sponsors:Total Wine & More, Toyota – Los Angeles Region, FivePoint


And to the countless volunteers who helped – thank you for your time and talents! 

Save the date for next year’s 9th Annual NEGU Gala – A Celebration of Courageous Smiles!

March 14, 2020


Jordan Palmer, Erik Rees, NEGU Junior Ambassador Cade Spinello, Kyle Allen and Josh Allen


The Rees family with the Doherty Family celebrating their son Hollis, who lost his fight to cancer, with his memory canvas. The Courageous Doherty Family continues to support the Jessie Rees Foundation.

Winner’s of the Compassionate Company Jessie Award – Nations Direct Mortgage

Erik and Stacey Rees, Jessie’s parents


Jana Perry- JRF Staff and her team of volunteers

Johnny Stanton, NFL Fullback and JT Rees with Courageous Kids Liam, Mikah and Super Sibling Mattias

8th Annual NEGU Gala – A Celebration of Courageous Smiles!

Jaime Serna, Jessie Award Winner – Caregiver of the Year with (left to right) Courageous Kid Katie, Shaya Rees, Stacey Rees, Courageous Kid Ayden and Erik Rees