1st Annual Treasuring Our Kids Spring Fling a Tremendous Success




The Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation has hosted numerous fundraisers throughout its history, but perhaps none more significant than its recent First Annual "Treasuring Our Kids" Spring Fling. The nearly 200 people gathered at the Silver Lake Country Club in Orland Park on May 1 witnessed a remarkable evening that included a delicious dinner and musical entertainment along with chances to win exciting prizes through silent and live auctions and raffles.

The magical evening's agenda overflowed with memorable moments and stirring speeches, beginning with emcee and Channel 2 News Reporter Kristyn Hartman's welcoming words and continuing with Father John Mulvihill's opening Invocation, during which he gave thanks for the joy the Foundation has brought to thousands of children suffering from cancer.

Following dinner, Foundation CEO and Founder Colleen Kisel thanked all of the attendees for their tremendous support before introducing and honoring the Foundation's Volunteer of the Year, Tinley Park resident Char Mannix. One of the more touching speeches was delivered by Laura Sikora, mother of the Spring Fling's Honorary Chairperson Michael Sikora, who shared her emotional story of the strength and joy her son experienced when selecting a special toy from the treasure chest following each painful procedure during his treatment.

The final tally shows the Spring Fling raised $50,191.50 for the Foundation, thanks in large part to the generous support of hundreds of monetary donors as well as individual and corporate donors of auction and raffle items. In addition, a 17-member committee and two dozen volunteers toiled long and hard to ensure the success of the Treasuring Our Kids gala. The feelings of hope and compassion-elements that have formed the cornerstone of the Foundation since its inception-dominated the special evening, a fact that Foundation Board member Darlene Zitko summarized by saying, "This was truly an awesome night, and was really for the little ones. We are all very blessed and very lucky to have good family and friends to support our cause. I'm so proud of everyone for stepping up and helping to make this event very successful."

Throughout the evening, the words and actions of all those present reflected the Foundation's gratitude for the loyal support it has received as well as the incredible strength and courage of the children and families who are battling childhood cancer. We've created a special commemorative page on our web site featuring several of the night's speeches in their entirety. You'll find the site packed with photos and quotes that capture the magical charm of this very special evening, one that will go down as a true hallmark in the illustrious history of the Treasure Chest Foundation.


Event Highlights


(Click the pictures to enlarge)


Father John Mulvihill, S.T.D. from St. James Church in Highland Park, delivered a powerful Invocation

Volunteer of the Year Char Mannix delivers her acceptance speech


Colleen Kisel introducing Volunteer of the Year Award

Michael Sikora and Kristyn Hartman


2010 Honorary Chairperson Michael Sikora (bottom left) with his Mom (Laura), Dad (Chris) and brother (Stephen)

A few members of the Spring Fling Planning Committee stop working for a quick photo: (left to right) Colleen Kisel, Kristyn Hartman, Darlene Zitko, Rob Newhart, Eileen Finn, Laura Sikora and Kelly Wolz.


Winner of the Judge Judy live auction package, Marge Adreani, along with event volunteer Ken Dziedzic

Treasure Chest Foundation Board President Eileen Finn shares a smile with Spring Fling guests: (seated, left to right) Mary Ashcraft and Eileen Finn; (standing, left to right) Dawn Cammack and Tami Riney


“Split the Pot” winner Hailey Zitko gave back her prize of $900 to the Treasure Chest Foundation. Pictured (left to right) Frances Simonelli, Hailey Zitko and Darlene Zitko

Volunteers from Queen of Peace High School take a break from manning the auction tables


Winners of the Chicago Bears live auction package, Faris Abusharif M. D. and Hanna Abusharif, Committee Member

Winner of the Chicago Blackhawks jersey signed by Captain Jonathan Toews live auction package, Tami Riney


Volunteers Sarah Ouano and Ashley Burkman manning the raffle tables