The Jessie Rees Foundation (JRF) enjoyed a beautiful December evening for the 2018 Santa Stroll, which took place at Santa Margarita Catholic High Schools’ track.
Courageous Kids fighting cancer, and their families, with supporters and the local community, gathered in their Holiday attire to walk the track for 46 minutes, honoring the 46 children daily who receive a cancer diagnosis.
The annual fundraiser supports the JRF through donations that are in turn used to fund the creation of JoyJars®. JoyJars are large plastic jars filled to overflowing with toys, games and other activities. With days in the hospital or at home being lonely and isolating while going through treatment, Jessie’s JoyJars bring smiles to these children as they fight their cancer battle. Jessie’s wish was to reach out to every child fighting cancer, to know that others are thinking of them. Jessie’s JoyJars provide that boost of hope and support so needed.
The Jessie Rees Foundation was, and always will be, inspired by one courageous and compassionate 12-year-old little girl. Her name, Jessica Joy Rees, better known as “Jessie”. Jessie was a faith-filled, beautiful, athletic, caring and loving twelve-year-old girl who courageously fought two brain tumors (DIPG) from March 3, 2011 to January 5, 2012.
With an excited crowd of over 450 supporters, the track was filled with folks ready to walk for 46 minutes. Erik Rees, Jessie’s Daddy, welcomed and addressed the crowd, then introduced the Courageous Families in attendance. The Courageous Families and mascots of one of the events sponsors, the Chick-Fil-A Cows, then moved to the starting line and the walk began!
Volunteers held signs of support circling the track reminding kids fighting cancer to Never Ever Give Up and honoring children who have joined Jessie in heaven.
A DJ kept the crowd walking with some great music, and all enjoyed the festive mood of care and support. Many families were dressed in matching Holiday attire, from T-shirts to Holiday Onesie pajamas.
Upon completion of the walk, there were donut and cookie treats as well as hot chocolate to enjoy. And, to top off the evening, Santa and one of his elves were there to hear Christmas wishes.
The JRF is pleased to report that $25,000 was raised from this event in support of Jessie’s Wish!
If you missed the event this year, be sure and join us in 2019!
Jessie’s wish, and the mission of the Jessie Rees Foundation is to encourage every kid fighting cancer to Never Ever Give Up!
To learn more about Jessie’s Story and the Jessie Rees Foundation, go to NEGU.org.