KC Business Journal: How Big Slick helps Children's Mercy build out its cancer research
By Elise Reuter
Every year, a host of celebrities travels to Kansas City for rounds of Connect Four, Uno and magic tricks with young patients at Children's Mercy. Star-studded shenanigans aside, the annual fundraiser has provided the seed funding for several pediatric oncology programs that otherwise might not exist.
The Big Slick Celebrity Weekend, which started as a poker tournament with hometown stars Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd and Jason Sudeikis turned into a citywide affair that has raised $6 million in the past decade. Last year, the event raised a record $1.75 million.
All the money has gone to the Children's Mercy Cancer Center, but in recent years, it has been directed more specifically toward cancer research. The infusion of funds has helped launch some of the hospital's most innovative cancer programs, such as its tumor bank and cancer genome program.
Dr. Erin Guest, a pediatric hematologist-oncologist with Children's Mercy, said both programs were jump-started in 2013 and 2014 using money from Big Slick, providing new hires and the necessary equipment for each.
Big Slick Celebrity Weekend 2018 raised a record amount, nearly $2.1 million, to benefit pediatric cancer research at Children's Mercy.
Learn more about the Children's Mercy Cancer Center.
Learn more about our Children's Research Institute.