Dolan Fund thanks supporters at annual awards event
It takes a lot of hands to keep a QRQSRRfiW RRJDQL]DWLRQ RuQQLQJ DQG growing — especially one that has impacted more than 22,000 families during its 36 years.
And to show those people who have a hand in the organization’s success what their contributions mean, it’s critical to say thank you.
“When I can thank individuals who make a great impact on our organization, that’s really great for all of us here at the fund,” said Peggy Dolan, executive director of the Ambler-based Kelly Anne Dolan Memorial Fund.
The organization gave thanks for its stalwart group of volunteers and supporters during its 36th anniversary celebration awards and recognition dinner, held Oct. 3 at the William Penn Inn. In addition to hosting a cocktail hour and dinner, the organization handed out 11 awards to individuals and organizations that have been key to the fund’s ongoing success.
The Kelly Anne Dolan Memorial Fund was launched by Dolan and her late husband, Joe, the day after their daughter, Kelly Anne, passed away at age 6 following a four-year battle with a rare form of leukemia. As the Dolans took their daughter to doctors and hospitals across the country before KHR GHDWK, WKHy VDZ fiRVWKDQG WKH impact having a sick child has on a family, meeting families who couldn’t pay their bills because of soaring medical costs and other parents who had to quit their jobs to be with their children.
The Dolans immediately set out to do something to make life easier for these families. The organization’s mission is to aid “families with seriously ill, physically and cognitively challenged, or severely injured children” through education, advoFDFy DQG fiQDQFLDO DVVLVWDQFH IRR needs not covered by medical insurance, according to the fund’s website, kadmf.org.
Thirty-six years later, the organization has helped more than 22,000 families, according to Dolan.
“The fact that we have survived this long — going through various recessions and even 9/11 — LV D FRQfiRPDWLRQ WKDW ZH’RH GRing the right thing. It’s been a real struggle from time to time, but we’ve managed to keep going and continue serving the needs of these families,” Dolan said. “[Kelly Anne] didn’t make it to the seventh year, but yet just from her being here and the joy she brought us and the lessons she taught during her illness, has impacted the life of over 22,000 families.”
But Dolan is quick to point out she’s just the organization’s messenger; the work of its staff, volunteers and community members keeps it going year after year.
And Dolan had the chance to personally thank many of those contributors during the awards ceremony.
“To be able to do it publicly is so important,” she said. “It’s at the awards dinner that you really get an understanding of what it WDKHV WR PDQDJH D QRQSRRfiW DQG grow a grassroots effort.”
Approximately 180 people attended, according to Dolan, and the organization handed out its annual awards.
Among this year’s recipients was sani Kumar, who received the Directors’s Award.
Kumar answered a newspaper ad for a volunteer in 1992, when Dolan ran the organization almost completely by herself, and has been on board ever since. Kumar was the organization’s fiRVW KLRHH LQ 1996, DQG VKH QRZ serves as the program coordinator, reviewing the approximately 100 referrals the fund receives from social workers each month.
The President’s Award went to Andrew Abramson, a six-year member of the fund’s board of directors who spent two of those years as board president.
The Media Award was presented to Frank nuattrone, the editor of Ticket, Montgomery Media’s entertainment section.
“Our needs, just like the families’ needs, would go nowhere if no one knew about us,” Dolan said. “If we don’t get the publicity about these events and the advocacy needed for the families we serve, it goes nowhere.”
In addition to providing press coverage of the organization’s event, nuattrone offers himself as an auction item at the fund’s annual Wine in Winter fundraiser, allowing the highest bidders to tag along on a restaurant review.
The Compassionate Care Award went to the Tamanend Basketball Shootout Committee, which organizes an annual basketball shootout that raises funds for the organization. To date, the committee has raised more than $260,000 for the fund, according to Dolan.
“They’re just a remarkable group,” she said.
The other award recipients were: Elsie Lee Garthwaite Foundation, Foundation Award; Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, Business Partnership Award; Woodside Christian Preschool, School Initiative Award; Hubbard Family — Kennedy’s Cause, Jack C. Graham Jr. Courage Award; Bethlehem Baptist Church, Fellowship Award; Wellness Solution Centers, solunteer Leadership Award; and Spirit of Philadelphia crew members, Maripat Pressler solunteer Achievement Award.
For more information on the Kelly Anne Dolan Memorial Fund, visit kadmf.org.
Kennedy Hubbard and Peggy Dolan, center, pose with the Hubbard family and other award winners at the end of the dinner.
Angela Perez and Colleen Matijasick chat with Peggy Dolan, executive director of the Kelly Anne Dolan Memorial Fund, during the organization’s 36th anniversary awards dinner Oct. 3.
Kelly Anne Dolan Memorial Fund Executive Director Peggy Dolan, right, presents the organization’s Director’s Award to Vani Kumar, program director.
Frank Quattrone, editor of Ticket, Montgomery Media’s entertainment publication, receives the Kelly Anne Dolan Memorial Fund’s Media Award.