ROYERSFORD, PA – (January 24, 2018) – There are a lot of 5k runs for worthy causes in the region but only one that directly benefits a collaborative, multi-institutional, multi-national research program dedicated to the study and treatment of childhood brain tumor.
The Miles for Smiles 5k run and 1 mile walk is scheduled for February 24, 2018 at Pope John Paul High School in Royersford, Pennsylvania and the Lewis Group is a main sponsor.
Runners and walkers of all levels will come together to raise funds for the Children's Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC), a group of 17 primary member institutions working to discover cures for children with pediatric brain tumors. The operations center of the CBTTC is located at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and allows researchers around the world to share data.
The Emily's Smiles Foundation has been supporting the CBTTC since 2016 when it was founded in honor of the daughter of a Lewis Group employee who was just six months old when she was diagnosed with ATRT (Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor), a very rare form of pediatric brain and spine cancer. Emily was treated at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for 18 months.
"We're enormously appreciative of the support that the Lewis Group has provided to the Emily's Smiles Foundation," asserts Meghan Gould, director of the foundation. "As a platinum sponsor of the run and a supporter of our ongoing fundraising, we wouldn't be as successful without the relationship."
In fact, Meghan's husband Jim was an eighteen-year employee of the Lewis Group and a Vice President with Lewis Environmental. The adversity the family has encountered and Emily's story has touched everyone in the Lewis Group organization.
"They've been through so much and the Emily's Smiles Foundation is doing great things and providing real hope for other families in their situation," offers Rick Lewis, president and CEO of the Lewis Group, headquartered in Royersford, PA.
This is actually the first year for the foundation's 5k but they're starting the event well organized, having taken over another event held at the same location around the same time of the year since 2011.
Cupid's Cranium was in its fifth year and also raised funds to benefit brain tumor research at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Thankfully, the child for whom Cupid's Cranium was initiated is now healthy.
"We like to say it's God working upstream, planting us in each other's paths," offers Gould.
The infrastructure from the previous event was adopted by Gould, who is a full-time development professional, and her race committee have inserted a lot of new energy behind Miles for Smiles.
"I had run Cupid's Cranium in 2016 with Emily and participated again in 2017" she adds. "We are proud to continue the mission under the influence of Emily's smile."
Throughout her treatment of intense chemotherapy, numerous surgeries and radiation at CHOP Emily kept smiling and, when it came time to name and brand the foundation and the event, the choice was obvious.
"She handled it all so gracefully and her smiles proved that, even though most of her life was spent in the hospital, she loved to be with her family, having fun and playing," says Gould. "That's the spirit of Miles for Smiles."
Sadly, Emily passed away on September 5, 2016 but her spirit lives on in this effort.
Last year the event brought out more than 1000 people including 500 runners and raised in excess of $30,000 and the 2018 event organizers are aiming for similar numbers. With platinum sponsors like the Lewis Group on board they're off to a good start but there is opportunity for additional support at all levels.
"We don't just sponsor the event but we encourage our employees to participate," adds Lewis, a runner himself.
The Lewis Group, the lynchpin of a developing mixed-use community, the Riverfront at Royersford, that offers unique opportunities for businesses and their employees including putting a high value on outdoor recreation. Located adjacent to the Schuylkill River Trail on a redeveloped brownfield tract, the Lewis Group's evolving plan currently includes a bike share program and a running club for tenants and employees.
"The Lewis Group is always focused on doing what's right," reflects Gould. "People are important to them, whether that means implementing safety precautions for every work process or sponsoring research that is meaningful to one of their employee families."
• Miles for Smiles 5k run/1 mile walk is on February 24 at 10am, Pope John Paul High School, Royersford, PA
• Emily's Smiles Foundation raises money for Pediatric Brain Cancer research and the proceeds of the Miles for Smiles 5K run/1 mile walk benefit Children's Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC)
• Children's Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium operations are headquartered at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)
• Emily's Smiles Foundation took over the run formally called Cupid's Cranium
• In its final year Cupid's Cranium raised $30,000 and included 1,000 participants
• Support the Emily's Smiles Foundation or participate in the run or walk by visiting http://www.emilyssmiles.org
Additional information can be found HERE.
More News & Press can be found in our Archive.