(Photo courtesy of Allison Kuykendall)
Let me begin by expressing my deepest gratitude for the support, friendship, and love Kuykenstrong has been given in the past year by each of you. It has been an emotional journey for many of us. A year ago, we all felt an unfathomable loss with Shawn’s passing. In the following months, Shawn’s family and friends organized Kuykenstrong in accord with his final wishes.
Partnering with Georgetown University Hospital, Kuykenstrong has begun working with the pediatric oncology/hematology clinic to support their patients, families, and doctors. Georgetown University is on the cutting edge of cancer research and offers some of the most comprehensive treatment in the nation. Such inclusive care is made possible by the support and funding of foundations like Kuykenstrong.
In the spirit of the program it helps support, Kuykenstrong’s efforts go beyond finances. Our staff has organized visits to Georgetown to spend with the patients and their families, providing comfort and resources. These visits would not be possible without the generosity of our donors.
The coming year will bring new challenges and opportunities for Kuykenstrong. We submitted our application for non-profit 501(c)3 status in July. When our non-profit status is approved, it will give us greater operating freedom, and allow our donors and business partners to benefit from tax deductions when they choose support the foundation. The 501(c)3 application is an arduous process, and can take anywhere between eight months and two years for organizational approval.
Our friendships with Major League Soccer, D.C. United, adidas, American University, and George Mason University have Kuykenstrong the opportunity to raise awareness for its cause across the nation. A special thank you to Bob Foose, Todd West, Greg Andrulis, Victor Melara, and Meghan Arbergast for their support.
We also have several new events planned for 2015. We will host our second annual Kuykenstrong D.C. College Cup at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., in addition to our first Shawn Kuykendall Memorial youth soccer tournament. We will also host our first silent auction, featuring items provided exclusively to us by adidas, MLS, U.S. Soccer, and Landon Donovan. Be sure to visit Kuykenstrong.com for details of all of our upcoming events.
Allow me to close as I began and thank you for your support over the past year. It would not be possible to make Shawn’s dream a reality without your help and support.