When Friends of Kids with Cancer, a St. Louis nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the daily lives of children dealing with cancer and blood-related diseases, moved to Maryville Center, the organization decided to move its annual Walk with A Friend at Sunrise event to the campus grounds.
Organizers turned to Senior Property Manager Deborah Patterson to help determine a course, parking, and other event logistics. While working with the group, Deborah got a big idea of her own: For several years she had been heading the St. Louis office’s annual auction, which raises money for charitable organizations including Friends of Kids with Cancer. The auction had been successful, but partnering with Friends of Kids with Cancer to expand the activities in conjunction with Walk with a Friend at Sunrise could be even more fruitful.
And so Walk with a Friend at Sunrise/Sunrise Celebration was born. Held each April, this event provides family members and friends an opportunity to come together to honor and support children affected by cancer.
Deborah organizes Sunrise Celebration, a carnival-like atmosphere complete with games, food, and entertainment. Duke Realty solicits support from its associates, vendors and tenants and has raised $167,000 in contributions over the past six years.
“The support that Duke Realty has given our organization has been tremendous and is greatly appreciated,” said Judy Ciapciak, Executive Director of Friends of Kids with Cancer. “The use of their corporate office park, coupled with the donations they’ve solicited, are evidence of their support of the community and belief in our mission of helping kids with cancer . . . be kids.”