06:05 AM

Walk for Heroes: KCares for Kids Walk set for Sept. 27

Inspired by the courageous battles she sees each day, Hem/Onc and BMT Clinic nurse Mary Williams decided she wanted to give back to support children and families fighting cancer and blood disorders at Children's Mercy.

Mary's efforts to give back, and the hard work of many others, will come to fruition next Saturday, Sept. 27, when the first ever KCares for Kids Walk takes place at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas. The one-mile walk benefits the Children's Mercy Cancer Center, and all funds raised will support children and families seen at Children's Mercy. In just its first year, the walk has nearly 40 registered walk teams and has already raised more than $50k - halfway to the $100k goal - through individual registrations, gifts and sponsorship's.

"I am very passionate about our cancer and blood disorder patients and want to be able to support our local heroes and their families," said Mary. "Philanthropy is an excellent way of showing our community what we are doing to help our patients and how they can make a difference too."

Organizing such a large event is no easy task. Fortunately, as the KCares for Kids Walk chair, Mary had help from the walk planning committee. Made up of grateful patient family members, Cancer Center Auxiliary members and members of the Hem/Onc team committee, members have given time outside of work and day-to-day life since March to help organize the event. The committee's efforts paid off, resulting in valuable in-kind sponsorships (donated items or services) and pre-walk festivities such as magicians, face painting, music, a Children's Mercy ambulance and special appearances by Sporting KC players.

The grassroots effort behind the KCares for Kids Walk demonstrates the passion and generosity Children's Mercy employees and members of the community have for the hospital. To Mary, it's as much about raising awareness as it is about giving-at any level.

"Even the smallest donation can make a huge difference in the lives of kids," Mary said. "Just spreading the word about a diagnosis, treatments and the care provided at Children's Mercy will help the community become more aware of our needs and how they can support the hospital. Raising awareness and raising funds also show our patients and families that they are not in this fight alone."

Walk Information

Date: Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014

Location: Sporting Park, One Sporting Way, Kansas City, KS 66111


- 8:30-10 a.m. - Registration and pre-event activities. Before the walk, enjoy music, entertainment, balloon artists, face painting, mascots and more!

- 10 a.m. - Opening ceremony and start of the one-mile walk.Register, form a walk team or join an existing walk team by visiting the KCares for Kids Walk page.