Making lives better, one cake at a time.
The U.S. Open starts this week in Flushing Meadows where everyone’s favorite tennis stars will be competing for the last Grand Slam of the season. But we’re keeping our eyes on another tennis tournament over the Labor Day weekend that boasts even bigger stars.
On Saturday, September 5, at Stone Monroe Park in La Grange Park, IL the 4th Annual Stone/Monroe Tennis Fundraiser is serving up aces as part of a friendly tournament from noon–6pm. Organizers will be cooking hamburgers, hotdogs, brats and serving drinks throughout the day in honor of Ogden School fifth grader Katie Farley.
Katie has Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, a rare chronic condition that causes the walls of the arteries in the lungs to tighten, putting severe pressure on her heart. There is no cure, according to the American Lung Association. It’s a condition that forces many people to alter their lifestyle significantly to prevent unnecessary strain. That means relatively sedentary routines, even the simple daily activities of a school day.
Katie happens to be one of those people, but, like many others living with PAH, she’s not content to live a sheltered existence. She loves working on art projects, decorating cakes, playing Minecraft and diving into the world of Harry Potter whenever the opportunity presents itself. She’s a camper at the Echo Hill Outdoor School Heart Camp, a school that connects its participants with the healing power of nature, established for kids living with PAH. EHOS Heart Camp is one of Katie’s favorite places, so much so that she created her own website, KatieCakes.org. She creates custom cakes in exchange for a donation to EHOS. All the money raised from Saturday’s tournament will be donated to the Echo Hill Outdoor School Heart Camp, giving more kids with PAH the opportunity to attend (it’s roughly $1,000 per camper).
We were first made aware of Katie’s condition last week when Ken received a letter from Ogden Elementary reminding parents and teachers of Katie’s condition. Ken’s son, Sam, happens to be one of Katie’s classmates and the Stone/Monroe Tennis Fundraiser came up as a topic of conversation after school one night. As we do every month, we highlight a local non-profit partner that’s doing great work for the community. Katie’s work on the side may not qualify as a legal non-profit (not now, anyway), but word has it that KatieCakes is making progress towards becoming an official 501(c)3. So KatieCakes and the tennis tournament is our pick this month, a great event to benefit her and the Echo Hill Outdoor School Heart Camp, a place that’s, literally, near and dear to Katie’s heart. Join us in supporting the Farley family this weekend with a donation.
The tournament is full, but people can come to the cookout, or just donate to the fundraiser. For more information, contact organizer Tim Gallagher at firstname.lastname@example.org.