Rhythm & Brews Anniversary Celebration
Thursday, October 5, 2023
6:00 PM – 9:30 PM
It’s not too late! There are a few tickets left for Rhythm and Brews, our fall fundraising party at the Morris Arboretum. Seedling and Sage will cater a menu of heavy appetizers fit for eating while wandering the grounds of the Arboretum at twilight. Bubbles and Brews will bring their adorable beer caravan to serve seven local beers and ciders generously donated by Origlio Beverages. The University of Pennsylvania Counterparts will headline our entertainment in the gorgeous uplit adult tree house. What could be better than relaxing in one of the treehouse hammocks while listening to top notch local musicians and sipping a fall beverage?
In addition to the fun to be had, there are raffle and auction items to be won. A beautiful Ibanez acoustic/electric guitar, tickets to Amy Poehler and Tina Fey’s Restless Leg Tour, tickets to Villanova men’s basketball, and restaurant gift cards are just some of the raffle highlights.Our auction items include priceless experiences like getting to meet the cast, watch the show, and go backstage at Moulin Rouge or Hamilton on Broadway, virtual cooking lessons from an Italian chef, and an Orlando vacation. Even if you cannot make to the event, you can still bid electronically! To view the auction catalog, click here—you’re not going to want to miss this incredible event! Please direct questions to Diana at email@example.com.
THE MISSION AT WORK
Meet Everett and Remo, adorable twins from Montgomery County. The boys had a great time on our Family Fun Day on the Spirit of Philadelphia dressed in little sailor suits—perhaps inspired by their United States Marine Corps veteran father.
Everett and Remo were born with neurological and intellectual disabilities as a result of their having Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, epilepsy, chronic lunch diseases. Everett has a history of craniosynostosis, quad CP and a feeding tube. Rem has spastic diplegia but does not require a feeding tube.
Because of their complex diagnoses, Everett and Remo are often sick and have frequent visits to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Gas money, parking, auto repair and supplies not covered by Medicaid have only compounded the family’s strain. Mom works full time and juggles so much for her young family, but she admitted to a therapist that they had fallen on economic tough times. The boys were referred to the Dolan Fund by Easterseals of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
The Dolan Fund was there to offer support to this family. We had funding, specific to only Montgomery County, that we were able to leverage for not one, but both siblings. KADMF proudly supported this family with $1,000. The family was overjoyed at this generosity and the boys’ maternal grandparents even reached out to share a note of thanks. The twins participated in the Family Fun Day and earned a sweet spot in many of our hearts.
OUR SUPPORT SYSTEM
For the Kleins, the Kelly Anne Dolan Memorial Fund is a whole family commitment. “It’s all my son’s fault!” Chris Klein joked when asked how she became one of our leadership donors. “Jeff runs the annual fundraising basketball tournament at Tamanend Middle School and we started by just donating a big raffle item.”
Over the past twenty years, Chris and her husband, Bob, became more deeply involved with the Dolan Fund’s work and mission. “The mission just makes sense,” shared Chris, “local families who are struggling need help, which is why we’ve continued to donate, even outside of the tournament.” For the Klein’s the Fund’s commitment to families who are, quite literally, their neighbors and their son’s students, is the driving force in their donations.
At this point, Chris shared that their dedication to our work mostly comes in the form of financial donation, but for many years, the Klein family were actively engaged in the daily life of the Dolan Fund. Chris and Bob attended many fundraising events and actively worked with the office staff on executing the holiday giving program. Chris also volunteered in the office assisting with bookkeeping when necessary.
Through her involvement with the Dolan Fund’s work, Chris has seen the ways that having a sick child can impact the economic health of the whole family. Chris concluded our conversation by reflecting, “there is a real need, and I’ll continue to support [KADMF’s] work because that need isn’t going away.”
We are so grateful for the generosity of regular donors like Bob and Chris Klein. If you’re inspired by their work, you can make a donation here.
Denise Kenner-Bennett might be the Kelly Anne Dolan Memorial Fund’s biggest cheerleader. She is not, however, a recipient family or a major donor. Denise is one of the health care providers that are the linchpin to the Dolan Fund’s success in helping families with medically fragile children.
Denise began her career as an early childhood educator and preschool director. But while Denise loved working with young children, she quickly realized that her passion lay in working with the entire family system to ensure the success of each child and she decided to pursue a career in social work. Not wanting to forsake her commitment to early childhood, after completing her Master of Social Work degree, Denise began her work in early intervention. Early intervention programs work with children ages zero to three and their families who have diagnosed medical and developmental challenges.
Denise’s client load has always been Philadelphia-based. Many of her client families are struggling with poverty or are economically overwhelmed by their child’s diagnosis and the need for one parent to limit paid employment to care for the child. Denise explained, “a child with a complex medical need diagnosed at birth, such as cerebral palsy, might have five different therapists come to the home twice a week for intensive sessions in the early years and a parent needs to be there to participate in the therapy sessions.” Denise shared that this might add up to 20 hours-per-week. “Even if a child’s family was hanging on with low to middle income wages before the child was born,” Denise continued, “the birth of a medically fragile destroys any hope of economic stability which can lead to homelessness, hunger, and safety issues which exacerbate the child’s condition.”
Denise’s client families often share their economic frustrations and concerns with her. A child’s speech therapist might recommend immediately obtaining a speech devise which has a two-year process to obtain through Medicaid. These devises often cost thousands of dollars out-of-pocket. A child with rare genetic condition could requires weekly trips to CHOP for medical treatment and the family is worried about their car being repossessed. In addition, co-payments can sometimes be as large as $250 and due to the constant medical appointments of these children, it puts incredible strain on the family. In these cases, Denise says her favorite thing to say is “let’s call the Dolan Fund, I bet they can help!”
Denise explained that she then coordinates with Kara McClain, our program manager and staff social worker, in order to assess the specific need and identify the extent to which KADMF can support the family. Denise finished our conversation by sharing, “my clients know [Kelly Anne Dolan Memorial Fund] and are grateful for all of the help that you provide when everything else in their lives is stressful. [The Dolan Fund does] great work and it is so necessary. Thank your donors from the bottom of my heart.”
To donate to our financial assistance programs so that providers like Denise can continue to refer families in need to KADMF click here.