CureSearch Volunteer Honored with National Award
CureSearch volunteer leader Jacki Splittorf-Sullins was honored today as North America’s Top Volunteer Fundraiser by the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum. The prestigious Cash, Sweat & Tears award recognizes the passion of our nation’s most extraordinary volunteers—people who take on physical challenges or overcome tremendous obstacles to raise money for U.S. charities through athletic fundraising programs.
“Jacki has been a game changer for our organization,” said Brecka Putnam, Senior Manager, Campaign Development for CureSearch. “Any time a parent loses a child and is able to get up and do something about it, it really blows me away. Jacki has taken it a step farther and is making such a tremendous difference. She is phenomenal.”
Jacki’s inspiring journey from heartbreak to passionate action is remarkable. “Our two-year-old son, Harlan, was an active, happy toddler when our world changed forever. In February, 2013, doctors diagnosed our precious boy with a rare brain cancer for which there was no cure,” Jacki shared.
“One day, Harlan’s oncologist gave us a binder with the words ‘CureSearch’ written along the top. From that day forward, CureSearch became part of our lives,” said Jacki. “For nearly two years, Harlan underwent active treatment through innovative clinical trials and protocols, a valiant effort to eradicate his brain tumors. Unfortunately, the cancer took away his motor functions, his speech and then his life in October, 2014.”
In Harlan’s honor, Jacki and her husband, Jonathan, vowed to change outcomes for kids with cancer and to bring hope to families living with a heartbreaking diagnosis. In 2015, Jacki launched the Baxter Trails CureSearch Hike founded by Harlan’s Heroes, now an annual fundraiser and the largest CureSearch volunteer-led hike in the country. She grew the event organically, starting with networks of local hikers, then expanding to families of children with cancer and medical professionals throughout the region. The event has raised nearly $150,000 to date supporting CureSearch’s mission to end children’s cancer.
Jacki’s support extends beyond her signature event, working tirelessly in Harlan’s honor to prevent other families from suffering the loss of a child. She volunteers at other CureSearch events, sharing her story and helping to raise critical funds. She also gives countless hours supporting families who are undergoing treatment.
The Cash, Sweat & Tears award is sponsored by Blackbaud, a fundraising software company. In support of Jacki’s fundraising efforts, Blackbaud has issued a matching challenge up to $5,000 for all donations in support of Jacki’s fundraising efforts for the 2019 CureSearch Ultimate Hike. Donations can be made online at www.justgiving.com/campaign/jacki.
Jacki’s 2019 Baxter Trails CureSearch hike is scheduled for Saturday, September 14. Early registration is open now at curesearchevents.org/baxter.
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