Each year members of the Savannah Community rally together to create a beautiful, fun, inspiring night to honor the children battling cancer, celebrate the survivors, and remember those precious lives we’ve lost. On February 25, CURE Childhood Cancer hosted its 10th annual Catie’s Gathering in Savannah.
The event, which benefits Catie’s Fund, a Named Fund of CURE, was once again presented by Coastal Electric. Catie’s Fund was created by Jenny and Tre Wilkins in memory of their firstborn daughter, Catie, who lost her battle with medulloblastoma at four years old. WSAV investigative reporter Andrew Davis served as the event emcee – as he has for all ten years.
The evening featured music by a Savannah favorite band – Junkyard Angels, dinner catered by Magnolia Grill, a live and silent auction, and an inspirational message on the work that CURE is doing delivered by CURE’s CEO, Kristin Connor. Kristin shared with the audience that many years ago, she believed that funding pediatric cancer research was much like building a cathedral, a building that is erected over many years and is an investment for the next generation. But in recent years, Kristin’s view has shifted with CURE’s involvement in funding the Aflac Precision Medicine Program. While we are laying the foundation for future cures, many children with cancer are reaping the benefits of this revolutionary treatment today.
Some additional highlights of the evening were the patient slideshow. Families and the communities who supported them cheered from around the room as they saw familiar faces on the screen. As always, the event table hostesses outdid themselves with extravagantly decorated tables. While we can’t pick a favorite, a few that stood out were Barbie’s Dreamhouse: where childhood dreams come true featuring ladies each dressed as a different Barbie, Gaga for a CURE hosted by the mothers of two survivors who came with their guests dressed as Lady Gaga, Curing Little Cuties a table featuring a centerpiece made of Cutie oranges, and beautiful Angel Graduation themed table hosted in memory of Kylie Shiell who would have graduated in May if leukemia hadn’t taken her in 2019.
This year’s live auction, led by the auctioneer, Kenny Williams, was particularly exciting. The last live auction item at each Catie’s Gathering event is the coveted, professionally decorated Head Table for 16 for the following year’s event. After an intense bidding war, the Head Table went for an astounding $25,000!
After the event, CURE’s newest staff member, Amanda Crosby, remarked, “I think what makes Catie’s Gathering such a special event is that it is the one night of the year when everyone in the room feels the same enthusiasm and contagious excitement about what CURE is doing that CURE staff members feel every day.”
We would like to thank our Catie’s Gathering title sponsor, Coastal Electric, the event planning committee, event sponsors, volunteers, table hostesses, vendors, and auction donors for an extremely successful event. Together, we raised $255,706 to fight childhood cancer!