Suncoast nonprofit raises thousands of dollars for families with children battling pediatric brain cancer
SARASOTA - The 4th annual Palette Fundraiser is raising awareness for pediatric brain cancer research and lending a helping hand to families who have a loved one battling cancer.
"It’s a fun event and that’s the kind of spirit I think that we wanted to show that Payton had,” said Holly Wright.
The Payton Wright Foundation, a non-profit committed to financially helping families who have a child battling brain cancer, host their annual Palette fundraiser at the Devyn Saturday night.
"The Payton Wright Foundation was formed to financially assist families caring for children with brain cancer, and we do that by paying the families rent, their mortgage, their utilities so day to day bills so they can focus on their child’s care.”
Wright, Vice President of The Payton Wright Foundation, created the nonprofit after she lost her daughter Payton to brain cancer in 2007. Wright says Payton, a Dick Vitale courageous kid, was always full of energy and knew how to make others laugh.
"Spunky, very feisty funny child," said Wright. "She would just be sitting there with a clown nose on and just looking and go ‘What?’ She just wanted to make you laugh.”
Sports legend Dick Vitale was presented with the Payton’s Hero Award. Vitale says he’s honored to receive the award and wants others to continue supporting his mission to finding a cure for pediatric cancer.
"Anytime you get an award from someone it’s always special and I’m really honored to have my name on that award and Payton’s name," said Vitale "She was just someone that really sparked me big time.”
Wright says the fundraiser has grown in size throughout the years and has helped thousands families on the Suncoast. She encourages parents going through difficult times not to lose hope and reach out for help as you’re not alone.
"You just want to say stay strong," said Wright. "Focus on your child, savor every moment and know that you have so many people that are out there fighting for you and with you and you’re not alone.”
The foundation reports they made more than $50,000 in donations from Saturday night’s event.