On August 2, the Kelly family (Matt, Jennifer, Beela, & Shepard) held their third annual Shepard & Beela’s Childhood Cancer Fundraiser, raising over $36,000 for CureSearch for Children’s Cancer. The 200-person event, held in the backyard of the Kellys’ home in Saint Paul, Minnesota, featured Asian fusion catering from the Rabbit Hole, Taiko drummers and live music from the L.A.-based band Podunk Poets. Tickets, a silent auction, a raffle, and a live auction raised funds to accelerate children’s cancer research.
The Shepard & Beela Fundraiser, held in honor of the Kellys’ son, Shepard, who was diagnosed with high-risk ALL at age 2, began 3 years ago as a way to celebrate their son’s spirit and raise much-needed funds for children’s cancer research.
With the help of about ten volunteers, the Kelly family coordinated the event from start to finish, gathering auction items, inviting members of the community, and recruiting sponsors. This year, the event had ten sponsors, including BMO Harris Bank, Circuit Global Sports Management, and Large Format Graphics in Saint Paul. According to Kelly, the Shepard & Beela Fundraiser is an emotional night, and the participants are passionate about raising funds for childhood cancer research and celebrating the advances they have made.
This year, the auction had 125 items, including an autographed photo of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team that sold for over $3,000. The photo, donated by 1980 Olympic gold medalist Buzz Schneider, was the most successful auction item. It did so well that Schneider offered to release a second photo to the second-highest bidder. Other auction items included a trip to a winery for 6 people, art, Katy Perry tickets, and autographed sports memorabilia. Despite the early evening rain, guests danced for hours, leaving under the stars with a tee shirt to commemorate the event.
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