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Charity’s First Fundraiser Aims To Deliver KO to Pediatric Cancer

 

By Al Campbell

STONE HARBOR — A nurse at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is the force behind the first fundraiser for Gloves for Love “Knocking Out Pediatric Cancer.”
The July 17 event, with a goal of raising from $8,000 to $10,000 will take place at the 80th Street Recreation Field from 4 to 8 p.m. featuring a corn hole “Baggo” tournament.
Following the event, from 8 p.m. to midnight, a party with open bar is scheduled at Golden Inn, 78th and Beach, Avalon.
“I really want this organization to grow and become a prominent cause that our community and South Jersey supports, said Saltzburg, director of Gloves for Love Pediatric Cancer Foundation.
If her name sounds familiar, it is because Saltzburg graduated Stone Harbor Elementary School, then attended Middle Township High School for three years, from 2000 to 2002, and transferred in her senior year.
Following graduation from the Hill School in Pottstown, Pa., Saltzburg went on to Villanova University, from which she graduated.
She has been a pediatric nurse at CHOP since October 2009. Currently, she is assigned to the Neurology Unit, but did her pediatric rotation in the Oncology Unit.
“At times, I floated down there to work on their unit as well. It has always been a priority for me to serve others, and my passion is to work with health care and with children,” said Saltzburg.
“Knowing that cancer is the number one cause of death by disease in children under 14, I felt compelled to start a foundation that would benefit those children,” she added.
“I have seen newborns who are diagnosed with cancer at 2 weeks of age, children who have beaten cancer and then suddenly relapse, and children who come in with a broken arm from playing basketball whose tests actually lead to a cancer diagnosis.
“One 12-year-old went for his yearly routine physician at his primary care physician, a few spots were seen on his skin, and two weeks later, he and his family were thrown into a cancer diagnosis and forced to digest a whole new lifestyle change.
We are on the verge of developing treatments that can cure virtually any type of childhood cancer, so I feel compelled to do my part in fighting this malady,” Saltzburg stated.
Linked with some mission trips in her earlier school years that also made a strong impression, Saltzburg said, “I am passionate about helping children.”
She has watched many patients from admission to discharge.
That experience has driven her to “serve in whatever way I can,” she said.
As she and a cousin pondered direction, the aspect of boxing gloves, symbols of fighting took shape.
Gloves for Love was hatched in November 2009. A month later, Saltzburg applied for IRS non-profit status to become a 501 c (3) organization, so necessary if organizers are to offer tax-deductible contributions from donors.
“I knew I wanted the symbol to be boxing gloves. Why? I don’t know,” she said.
It was the idea to “knock out pediatric cancer linked with the fighting aspect. We wanted it to stand out,” she said.
The corn hole tournament, also known as Baggo, will be double elimination.
The sport is slowly catching on locally, but it widespread in the South and Midwest, especially on college campuses, Saltzburg said.
That sport was picked “”Because you don’t have to be an athlete to play. A 6-year-old can play and an 80-year-old can play,”
she added.
Teams of two can play through the late afternoon.
There will be food and soft drinks for sale as well as “a ton of auction prizes that people have donated,” said Saltzburg.
Those include many items from golf games to baskets of bottled wine.
A silent auction will also be held in conjunction with the event.
Saltzburg knows she is organizing the toughest event, the first one, but draws strength from those boxing glove symbols that help drive the concept of fighting for a victory.
All proceeds from the event will go to the Cancer Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
To learn more about the organization, visit its website: www.glovesforlove.org.
Contact Campbell at (609) 886-8600 Ext 28 or at: al.c@cmcherald.com

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