Co-Chairs Candice Romo & Hollie Siglin Join Honorary Chairs Roger Staubach & Troy Aikman and cancer patients, survivors, and celebrities for a fashion show, dinner, and dancing, with Special Guest DJ Tony Romo
Tanner Vea, 13, of Josephine; Kaitlyn Johnson, 8, of Royse City; Loryn Ninesling, 14, of Leonard; and Abe Kelso, 7, of Rockwall are featured models at theChildren’s Cancer Fund Gala “Sweet 30th Anniversary,” celebrating 30 years of sweet smiles, sweet styles, and sweet stories of survival in a candy-themed wonderland. The Gala will take place on Friday, April 27, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Dallas (new location this year) beginning at 6 p.m. with a silent auction and VIP reception and 7 p.m. for the dinner and program. Co-Chairs Candice Romo and Hollie Siglin join longtime Honorary Co-Chairs Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman to kick off the evening. The event is expected to raise more than $1 million to support pediatric cancer research and treatment programs at Children's Health and UT Southwestern. Staubach, who has been involved all 30 years, and Aikman, now in his 21st year, join other celebrities and sponsors as runway escorts for 22 featured pediatric cancer patients, ages 5 – 15, who model fashions by Dillard’s for the annual fashion show, produced by RSC Productions and coordinated by Katy Sky Group. The evening features the Ray Johnston Band and concludes with dancing and music provided by the Jordan Kahn Orchestra and special Guest DJ Tony Romo, CBS NFL Commentator and former Dallas Cowboy.
Diagnosed with osteosarcoma, Tanner Vea, 13, of Josephine, is in the eighth grade and loves books and learning about facts and history. He enjoys reading his books over and over again.
“When Tanner was in the hospital to receive his chemo, he would always have a history fact to share with the doctors and nurses,” said his mom Jami Vea. “They learned something new every visit! We are so proud of him. He’s doing so well with his physical therapy and has gained so much strength. A brace that he has had to wear will not be needed much longer.”
When he grows up he wants to be a baker or an archaeologist. His heroes are Jesus and his dad. If he could travel anywhere in the world it would be to Sweden because he has family who live there.
“I’m so excited to be in the fashion show because I want to represent life,” said Tanner Vea.
Diagnosed with leukemia, Kaitlyn Johnson, 8, of Royse City, loves science and reading and hopes to one day be a veterinarian. She is an only child but loves her pet Rosco. She enjoys drawing, playing little pet shop, swimming, riding four wheelers, and watching the movie “Boss Baby.” Her heroes are her parents because “they help me get back up when I get hurt.” If she could take a trip anywhere in the world, it would be to New York because she has never been.
“I can’t wait to be a part of the fashion show to meet other people and to dress up in a fancy dress,” said Kaitlyn Johnson.
Diagnosed with osteosarcoma, Loryn Ninesling, 14, of Leonard, is now cancer free. She has a younger brother and sister, a chiweenie, a guinea pig and a cat. She loves playing with her pets, making jewelry and practicing her flute. As a member of the Leonard High School Marching Band, she enjoys playing at all of the football games. Her favorite subject is math, and she wants to be an oncology nurse when she grows up. Her hero is her nurse Callie, who inspired her to want to become a nurse. Her favorite musicians are Adele, The Fray and Taylor Swift. If she could take a trip anywhere, she would go to Fiji.
“I am so excited to be a part of the fashion show,” added Loryn Ninesling. “I’m excited to wear new clothes and have always wanted to be a model!”
“Loryn’s diagnosis never slowed her down,” said Libby Ninesling, Loryn’s mom. “She maintained her gifted and talented classes as well as the principal’s list of top ten students with the highest grades. We are very proud of her.”
Diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Abe Kelso, 7, of Rockwall, wants to be a paleontologist when he grows up. At school he enjoys going to the computer lab. He has one little sister and a Jack Russell Terrier named Mango. On the weekends he likes to play with his best friend Cade, ride his bike, and play Legos and soccer. His mom is his hero because “she cuddles me and takes me to Chili’s.” His favorite movie star is Mr. Bean, and his favorite musicians are Justin Timberlake and Blake Shelton. If he could go anywhere in the world, he would go to Japan to see the Nintendo Headquarters.
“I’m looking forward to the Gala because it is an event that raises awareness and money for kids with cancer,” said Abe Kelso.
Children’s Cancer Fund brings together local celebrities, dignitaries, philanthropists, sponsors, and media personalities to serve as runway escorts for these young patients modeling in the fashion show. In addition to Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, escorts include Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys players and cheerleaders and Rowdy, the Cowboys mascot, as well as Victoria Arlen; Garry Brown, television producer/director; Melissa Brown, actress; Mike Crum; Juanika & Monta Ellis (of the Indiana Pacers, NBA); Kiss FM Crew (Kellie Rasberry, Big Al, JC and Jenna); Miss Texas Margana Wood; Scott Murray; Eric Norris; Amy Vanderoef; Medieval Red Knight; Pink Heals Firefighters; Batman; Belle of Beauty and the Beast; Dallas SWAT; Dallas Fire Station #19; and Children’s Cancer fund alum Russell McKeown.
The gala, which is the organization’s largest annual fundraiser for pediatric cancer, is sponsored by CBS 11 and features Karen Borta as mistress of ceremonies. Since 1982, Children’s Cancer Fund has donated over $8 million to the childhood cancer cause. Individual tickets are $300 or $2,750 for a table of 10. Contact Children’s Cancer Fund at 972-664-1450 or visit www.ChildrensCancerFund.com/gala for reservations and more information.
Co-Chairs Romo and Siglin are also moms and best friends who are passionate about championing children. The mission of Children’s Cancer Fund and the importance of this fundraiser led them both to say yes when asked to be this year’s co-chairs of the gala.
“With a passion for children and a love of fashion, my heart is happy to be part of the Children’s Cancer Fund 30th Anniversary Fashion Show,” said Candice Romo.
A native Texan and Dallas resident, Romo has three sons with Tony Romo. She is co-owner with Siglin of Hawk + Sloane, a line of children’s sprays they created. Siglin and her husband, Chris, reside in West Plano and also have three children.
“I am so honored to be a part of this event, which has such a significant impact on improving the future for those affected by pediatric cancer,” added Siglin.
“This night is all about the kids,” said Jennifer Arthur, CCF Executive Director of Development. “They spend the day getting runway ready and reuniting with their friends backstage, and when the spotlight comes on, you will see some of the sweetest smiles. This is a night they have looked forward to all year. The grand finale, which features CCF models from the past 30 years, is one of the most incredible moments of the evening. These sweet stories of survival are a testimony to the impact CCF is making in our community.”
Children’s Cancer Fund was founded in 1982 by a coalition of parents whose children were receiving cancer therapy at Children’s Medical Center. The organizers have since been joined by community leaders, dedicated volunteers, and health professionals in their fundraising efforts. CCF is one of the nation’s leading fundraising groups in supporting local research toward treatment and prevention of childhood cancers. Among the programs supported by Children’s Cancer Fund are the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program at Children's Health and the Children's Cancer Fund Comprehensive Center for Research in Pediatric Oncology and Hematology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, which is gaining a national reputation for its work in eradicating childhood cancer. In 2002, Children’s Cancer Fund initiated funding for a full-time Child Life Specialist at the Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders in Children’s Medical Center to assist the outpatient team. The primary goal of the Child Life Specialist is to make each of the 80-90 daily outpatients’ visits a more positive experience. This position is funded annually by CCF, helping to ease the emotional strain of ongoing treatments, some lasting several years.
Sponsors include: $50,000: Anne Davidson; Texas de Brazil; $25,000: Children’s Health, Gene and Jerry Jones Family Foundation; Tiffany and Mark Cuban; Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders; Marianne and Roger Staubach; $20,000: Anonymous; $10,000: Troy Aikman; Albertsons-Tom Thumb; Andy Beal; Lisa and Clay Cooley; Headington Companies; Jennifer Stroud Foundation; Barbara Lipshy; Sewell Automotive; $5,000: Lindy and Brad Berkley; Kenneth Cooper; Dirk Nowitzki Foundation; Stacey and Kenny Doré; Fee, Smith, Sharp & Vitullo, LLP; Hawk+Sloane; The McCullough Foundation; Pacific Union Financial LLC; Holly and Barry Pennett; The Prather Family; and Simple Automotive.
In-Kind Sponsors: American Airlines; Dillard’s; Gro Event Design; Hyatt Regency Dallas; Katy Sky Group; Kendra Scott; National Fantasy Football Convention; NorthPark Center; OBOY! Production; Outfront Media; Patty Foppen Photography; Primera Companies; Reunion Tower; RSC Show Productions; Rsoul Royal Studios; Sugarfina; and Matthew Trent.
The media sponsors are CBS11/TXA21, CultureMap Dallas, and Good Life Family Magazine.
Visit these kids’ personal fundraising pages:
Tanner Vea: www.childrenscancerfund.com/tannervea
Kaitlyn Johnson: www.childrenscancerfund.com/kaitlynjohnson
Loryn Ninesling: www.childrenscancerfund.com/lorynninesling
Abe Kelso: www.childrenscancerfund.com/abekelso