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Posts Tagged ‘sound of heart’

Last Monday, the Hats Off For Cancer family lost a great member of the team, one of our Teen Ambassadors, Kevin Cordasco.  Kevin was 16-years old and he had been battling cancer since age 9.  He is featured in our music video for Sound of Heart (http://youtu.be/PcDonfj_qKY) and in our Public Service Announcement (http://youtu.be/VEIV7W5YlfU).  Kevin is an inspiration to us, and to so many that knew him.  We are grateful for the opportunity we had to spend time with Kevin and see his courage and passion for life first-hand.  Kevin used his life to make a difference, and we are thankful for all that he did!

Below is an article from The Acorn newspaper detailing Kevin’s accomplishments and his battle with cancer:

Community mourns loss of Kevin Cordasco

SYLVIE BELMOND/Acorn Newspapers

A vigil will take place this evening between 7 and 9 p.m. at Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park in Westlake Village to remember the life of Kevin Cordasco, a 16-year-old Calabasas teen who died March 11 following his long bout with neuroblastoma.

The much-loved Calabasas High School junior was diagnosed with the disease at 9 and was recognized throughout the community as a beacon of courage in the face of insurmountable odds.

During his ordeal, Kevin had been in and out of hospitals in three different cities searching for a cure. He endured multiple surgeries and chemotherapy and radiation treatments and fought his way through a number of relapses with spirit intact.

As he was being named Honorary Mayor for the City of Calabasas in January, Kevin said his parents, Kevin Sr. and Melodie, and younger brother, Cade, encouraged him to be strong and resilient.

“Our city is grieving alongside the Cordasco family over the loss of their beloved son and brother,” said Mary Sue Maurer, mayor of the city.

Even after doctors ran out of options to slow his disease, Kevin refused to give up. Maurer said Kevin and his family symbolize the spirit of the community. His mantra was “courage, strength and believe.”

“That is what he personifies for this community,” said C.J. Foss, Calabasas High principal.

“Kevin has been and continues to be a tremendous inspiration to students and staff at CHS. His courage, positive spirit and joy for living came through anytime you talked to him or talked about him,” Foss said.

During the past six years Kevin spoke in front of thousands of people and inspired many with his determination and will

In addition to being named Calabasas Citizen of the Year in 2008, he received the A.C. Stelle Middle School Courage Award when he graduated from eighth grade. He also was honored by the Calabasas boys’ basketball team as the team’s Most Inspirational Player.

Foss said students at CHS are making plans for a special memorial in honor of Kevin.

Kevin Cordasco will rest in the company of heroes in the Garden of Valor at Pierce Brothers in Westlake Village. His funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Fri., March 15 at St. Bernadine’s Catholic Church, 24410 Calvert St., Woodland Hills.

There will be a procession to Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park in Westlake Village followed by a 1p.m. reception at the Westlake Village Inn at 31943 Agoura Road.

The public is welcome to attend.

Link to article: http://www.theacorn.com/news/2013-03-14/Community/Community_mourns_loss_of_Kevin_Cordasco.html

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I have been receiving a lot of emails from schools, groups and companies, asking how to help spread awareness during September for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  I thought it might be good to address that here on the blog.  First, check out our Get Involved section on the Hats Off For Cancer (HOC) Web site if you know how you want to help.  If you’re still unsure, keep reading.

One of the easiest and more impacting ways to get involved is by hosting a Mad Hatter Drive at your school or church, in your community, with an organization or at your place of work.

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There are a ton of different ideas for your drive listed in our e-packets.

  • Some that have been very successful for groups in the past include designating a “Hat Day” where you collect a $1 donation from each person that wears a hat for the day.
  • Another great idea for an elementary or middle school is asking everyone to bring in their craziest hat and put it on during an assembly, asking for a $1 donation for HOC, and then holding a “Hat Parade” outside so everyone can see the fun hats and handing out prizes in certain categories!
  • You can host a Mad Hatter tea party and charge admission, either a new hat or a couple of dollars.
  • Hat drives are also a great way to give back, asking everyone to bring in new, kid-friendly hats to give to HOC.
  • Some groups have held a Battle of the Bands or a local concert after school or at church and used the admission fees to donate to HOC.
  • High Schools and Colleges have challenged rival schools to a competition to see who can raise the most money or collect the most hats.
  • Contact your local grocery store about partnering to ask patrons to donate $1 and they can write their name on a hat cut-out and post them up in the store display area.
  • Church groups and civic organizations and groups can knit or crochet soft hats.
  • Schools have used assembly time to show the HOC PSA and music video as a way to help everyone understand a little more about cancer and who is being helped through volunteering for Hats Off For Cancer.
  • Companies can give workers additional casual day passes for those that have participated in a donation or hat drive, or hold a golf outing with your company as the sponsor.
  • Everyone can get involved by hosting a virtual fundraiser through our online donation page where you can set up your very own page for Hats Off For Cancer and send the link out to family and friends.
  • You can find more ideas based on your type of group and event by visiting the Get Involved section of our Web site: Get Involved.

Truly, the opportunities are endless.  However, the most important part to remember is that you’re helping to spread awareness of this terrible disease, and you’re encouraging others to donate in a very simple, but in a way that is very meaningful and important to those benefiting from it.

Ultimately, one of the goals of Hats Off For Cancer is that everyone who participates in or coordinates an event, realizes how easy it is to give back, and uses this as a springboard to continue seeking out opportunities to give back to others in need.

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Here is a fun way to promote awareness. Just share this photo on your facebook page or tweet it to your followers!

Remember, getting involved can be as easy as you want it to be, but the impact can be felt for the rest of your life.

Thank you for reading and we hope you’ll consider joining us in bringing some much needed awareness to the courageous kids and teens who are battling and have battled cancer!

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Sound of Heart was written and sung by Cazz featuring Dennis Lawrence exclusively for Hats Off For Cancer.

Buy it on iTunes, all profit goes to Hats Off For Cancer!

Directed by Jessica Rotter, Produced by Dennis Lawrence, Music by Cazz, Edited by Hunter LeMoine.

A very special thanks to the cast and crew!

Everyone a part of this volunteered their time and efforts. We’re so thankful for you all.

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Like the song in the background? It’s Sound of Heart, written and sung by Cazz featuring Dennis Lawrence exclusively for Hats Off For Cancer. Buy it on iTunes, all profit goes to Hats Off For Cancer: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/sound-heart-hats-off-for-cancer/id469444476

While more than 45 children are being diagnosed with cancer every day, Hats Off For Cancer is hard at work providing hats and smiles to these heroic kids. More than one million children on five continents have benefited from this program since it BEGAN in 1996. You can join us and help bring smiles and happiness to the brave kids fighting the battle of their lives. Start a Hats Off for Cancer Club at your school, hold a hat drive or fundraising event in your community or at your company. Personally, I have seen how the gift of a hat can brighten a difficult day, and believe me it is worth our time and effort. To learn more log on to www.hatsoffforcancer.org. Together we can put a big smile on the face of a child fighting cancer!

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