Highlights from this year's annual "And the Winner is..." event
Posted May 02, 2018
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Tracy’s Kids is an organization created to help young cancer patients and their families cope with the emotional stress and trauma of cancer and its treatment through art and play therapy.
On February 27, 2018, Tracy’s Kids hosted its annual “And the Winner is…” red carpet fundraising event featuring Second Lady of the United States Karen Pence, U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and more. This organization not only ensures children and families are emotionally equipped to fight cancer, but also preparation for a cancer-free future.
Vazquez: It is one of the most highly anticipated events in Washington, D.C., where congressional leaders show their support for Tracy´s Kids, an art-therapy program that benefits kids with cancer.
Pence: I don´t like to miss this event because it´s so inspiring.
Gerson: This marks the 20th year that we have been raising money to help children with cancer cope with the emotional aspects of being sick.
Vazquez: Hello, I´m Yolanda Vazquez, and welcome to "Comcast Newsmakers". This year, we have some unique pieces of artwork from prominent senators who know all too well the importance of the art-therapy program in young people´s lives.
Patterson: My daughter, when she was nine years old, was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder. And that is where I met the miracle worker, Tracy of Tracy´s Kids. Tracy made going to the hospital a joy. I´m getting goose bumps right now talking about it. Can you imagine a child enjoying going to the hospital
Cohen: What a difference it made, not only to that child, but also to her mother and to the entire family. And that´s the priceless value of the art therapy that we´re supporting through Tracy´s Kids.
Woman: So, I was diagnosed with Ewing´s sarcoma when I was 12 years old. I had five different types of chemo. I don´t think I would have been able to get through my cancer treatment if I didn´t have art therapy available to me. It changed my life.
Councill: It touches my heart every time somebody says that, because, you know, what we do every day just feels normal. It´s just exciting to see that people engage with art therapy and they can really experience and feel the healing power of working in art in the treatment setting with support. And it really changes their lives. It changes the whole treatment experience. And it lets them, you know, move forward in a much more whole and healthy way.
Pence: These kids tell me themselves. They say, "This -- This makes it so worthwhile." But Tracy´s Kids doesn´t just work with the clients, the children who are the patients. They work with the families. They work with the siblings. Because when you get a cancer diagnosis, the whole family gets that diagnosis, and it affects everybody. And to see how Tracy and these art therapists work with the siblings, it´s absolutely stunning.
Marino: It´s amazing that, at a very young age -- you know, four, five, six years old -- they´re a lot smart than we think, and they may not be able to clearly explain what they´re thinking, but they can certainly put it on paper, on art, with, you know, drawing it, painting it, sketching it, about what is going on inside of them, what they feel about what they´re going through, and what they hope for.
Leahy: Our children are our future, and an illness like cancer or any serious illness -- They need to get better and come out not only healthy of body, but healthy of mind, and this is what Tracy´s Kids does. It makes the kids 100% better. It´s miraculous.
Pence: Art therapists are mental-health professionals. They use art to help these children deal with some of the stress and struggles that they´re going through.
Gerson: Art therapy allows them to talk about their feelings, talk about what they´re thinking, and not really realize that they´re revealing something about their fears or their concerns.
Hirono: I´m undergoing cancer treatment. I often think about how do kids contend with all of this. So, they´re the brave ones, in my view. There are millions of people in this country who are facing these kinds of challenges every single day, and so I am standing in solidarity with them.
Leahy: Because of her strength, dignity, and perseverance she exhibits every day, it is my very great honor to present Senator Mazie Hirono with the 2018 Tracy´s Kids Courage Award. [ Applause ]
Pence: It is my honor to present the 2018 Courage Award to Representative Steve Scalise. [ Applause ] Steve inspired a nation with how quickly he returned to his duties in Congress as the House Majority Whip.
Scalise: I will tell you, you know, we all go through struggles, and to receive the Courage Award -- So many of us have experienced various things in our life that, you know, we just have the courage because we have a passion for the things we love and we have great friends and a support system that help us get through the tough times.
Cohen: There´s just nothing you can feel better about than supporting the Tracy´s Kids programs and realize the impact you´re having on kids who are in the toughest circumstance of their lives and making that circumstance a little bit more pleasant.
Yolanda Vazquez talks with Robert Laybourn, President of Arlington Sports They discuss “ The Armed Forces Cycling Classic” that will take place June 9th and 10th in Arlington VA. For more information on the "The Armed Forces Cycling Classic", visit their website.
Yolanda Vazquez talks with Sarah Rogers, Executive Director for Heritage Montgomery. They discuss Heritage Days that will take place June 23rd & 24th countywide. For more information on Heritage Days and Heritage Montgomery, visit their website.
Yolanda Vazquez talks with Emily Wang Murphy, Co-Chair of Lawyers Have Heart. They discuss the 28th Annual Lawyers Have Heart 10K Race, 5k Run & Walk that will take place Saturday, June 9th at the Washington Habour at Georgetown , Washington DC. For more information 28th Annual Lawyers Have Heart 10K Race, 5k Run & Walk, visit their website.
Yolanda Vazquez talks with Mary-Claire Burick, President of the Rosslyn Business Improvement District. They discuss the organization and their mission to the community. For more information on the Rosslyn Business Improvement District, visit their website.
Yolanda Vazquez talks with Bruce Yamashita about his battle against institutional racial discrimination. Yamashita discusses the challenges and struggles of his journey and what he learned from his experience.
Yolanda Vazquez talks Daniel Wolk, Coordinator External Communications & Community Relations for Giant. They discuss the Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle that will take place Saturday, June 23rd and Sunday June 24th on Pennsylvania Avenue NW ( Between 3rd & 7th). For more information on the Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle, visit their website.
The Asian American Pacific Islander community makes up six percent of the U.S. population, but is growing more than four times as rapidly as the total U.S. population. Asians are the largest group of immigrants to enter the U.S. as immigrants. A conversation with Janelle Wong, Senior Researcher at AAPI Data about the fastest-growing but one of the understudied racial groups in the United States.
Young people reap many benefits from mentoring, including higher graduation rates, improved self-esteem and improved interpersonal skills. A discussion with Elizabeth Santiago, Chief Program Officer of Mentor The National Mentoring Partnership, about how traditional and more informal types of mentoring can help youth thrive.
According to a recent study, students with low attendance rates, poor behavior or course failure in English or math are more likely to drop out of high school. Michael Brown, CEO and co-founder of City Year discusses efforts to provide the academic support and encouragement at-risk students need to thrive in the classroom.
Twenty years ago, only four percent of Fortune 500 companies had any kind of protection for LGBT people. Today, only about four percent don't have those protections. Selisse Berry, Founder and CEO of Out and Equal Workplace Advocates reflects on the work she and her organization have done over the past two decades and the work yet to be done for LGBT Equality. This discussion continues in part 2 (Journey to Workplace Equality).
Visit Out and Equal on the web, on Facebook or follow on Twitter.
Interview recorded on May 17, 2017.