Angel Kiss Foundation


I feel extraordinarily fortunate. I have a job, live in a nice home in a great city, share experiences with amazing people and am flexible enough to keep fit and donate my time to the community. Most importantly, I am the father of two very special children. They certainly got the best of their parent’s best attributes…intelligence (at least their mother’s!), courteous, caring, self-sufficient, athletic and healthy. Words cannot truly validate how fortunate we all are.

However, there are many children who are battling obstacles of varying natures and degrees. When I was executive director of the American Heart Association, I saw this on a daily basis…fighting to raise money to fund research. In my current role as Board President of the Angel Kiss Foundation, I learn of stories and family needs regularly. In my opinion, need is need and no dollar amount can truly be affixed to each family’s situation. They’re all scary, difficult and uncertain. What’s nice is that there’s hope.

The Angel Kiss Foundation, a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation, exists to provide funding and emotional support to families caring for children fighting cancer. We consider each of our “clients” as members of our own family, because we work together to provide support to each family.

Since our families travel to northern California for treatment, they’re forced to cover unexpected travel, lodging, meal and other costs. At the same time, they’re forced to take care of matters relating to their employment, schools, bills…everyday stuff. Having the Angel Kiss Foundation as a resource, our families can place a greater amount of focus on what’s really important…their children.

This summer marks my third year on the board. During that time, we’ve helped over 100 families and provided nearly $300,000 in financial assistance (overall: 211 families with $615,000). But, this is just the beginning. Despite the tough economy, our board is steadfast in our quest to increase our funding as much as we can. Angel Kiss is able to provide funding to families as a result of its own funding initiatives. These include annual giving, grantwriting and event fundraising.

Our annual event, now known as Angel Kiss’s Paddle for Pediatric Cancer is scheduled for Saturday, June 20 at Wingfield Park, located in downtown Reno. This unique event begins with a river rafting experience, where nearly 200 people will navigate in single, 2-man, 4-man and 8-man rafts along a 2.2 mile stretch of the Truckee River. Many dress in theme…all with special team names…and enjoy a non-competitive “race” experience. Upon arrival, the rafters and the entire community will enjoy a music festival featuring five live, local bands. Tantalizing their taste buds will be food provided by local vendors…at no cost to Angel Kiss. Guests may also visit our Garden of Hope, where they can participate in an auction and walk away with a handmade flower. All in all, it’s a great family experience and open to the entire community.

We’ve created a new giving vehicle this year and we’re calling it a Paddle-a-Thon. Similar to team pages associated with other organizations like Heart, Leukemia and others, individuals and raft teams…anyone…can create giving pages to help raise funds. I’ve created one and am reaching out to family and friends to help raise $1,000. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it represents roughly four months of support to one of our families. To me, that’s a great amount of support. I would love to actually raise $3,000 to reach one year’s worth of support.

If you’re reading this, I encourage you to reach out to Angel Kiss Foundation and offer support…whether it’s as a volunteer, donor or festival participant. You’re certainly invited to contribute to Angel Kiss through my team page (seen below).

If you just want to have fun on a nice, warm Saturday afternoon (it’s the Summer Solstice!), just head downtown to our big party. We’ll welcome you with a smile, just as we’ll do with the other 1,000 people in attendance.

Lastly, if you’re the parent of a young person who’s being treated for cancer in Northern Nevada and their eastern Sierras, call the Angel Kiss Foundation today. We provide support to all families who have children in treatment…we don’t discriminate.

Here’s our contact information…

Angel Kiss Foundation



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