Dolan Fund thanks sup­port­ers at an­nual awards event

The Ambler Gazette - - SPORTSROUNDUP - By Thomas Celona

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.

Pho­tos by PHIL HEIL

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.

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