Friday, March 7, 2014

Hoops Madness for Mitchell's Fund

When the three-month-old son of  Meg McElwain and Frank Turner III was diagnosed with pediatric cancer in 2012, the family was stunned by the number of their family, friends and business associates who offered to give them money to help with medical expenses. 

They quickly realized that they wanted to use the money to start a foundation that would help parents who were struggling with the financial hardship of having a sick child.

"When you see a child go through chemotherapy - whether it's your own or someone else's - it's shocking," says McElwain. "We looked around and realized we wanted to help families who didn't have the great jobs or the great insurance that we have."

They started the Mitchell Bays Turner Pediatric Fund and organized its first fundraiser last year. Called Hoops Madness for Mitchell's Fund, it raised $75,000 and was such a hit that it's moving to a larger venue for this year's event on March 22 at SMS Catering. (Tickets are $75 at

So far, the fund has helped struggling families with expenses that they could not have covered on their own including assistance with mortgage payments or car payments for parents who are underemployed or unemployed due to the time-consuming task of caring for their sick child, and the travel costs of taking a child with a life-threatening illness to another city for additional specialized care.

The party itself has healing powers of its own.

"It's a very casual, fun-loving party," says McElwain. "It completely recharged us. We could be normal for a night."