BLOOMINGTON, MINNESOTA (May 4, 2017) – Pinky Swear Foundation announces the recent appointment of Eileen Bobowski as Area Director in its Kansas City and Omaha regions. She will serve as the Foundation’s feet-on-the-ground as Pinky Swear continues to expand its presence in markets across the nation, and works to help families with kids with cancer with financial and emotional support.
“We’re excited to have talent of Eileen’s caliber as we grow our community development efforts,” said Mary Mendenhall-Core, Pinky Swear Area Director. “With an extensive network and knowledge of the greater Kansas City non-profit landscape, we’ll rely on her marketing and communication background to build connections between corporate sponsors, pediatric oncology hospitals, and communities across the Midwest.”
For Pinky Swear Foundation, Bobowski will build on the mission through generating corporate partnerships, events, peer-to-peer fundraising, volunteer recruitment, and KC-area outreach including marketing, media and public relations. Her efforts and strategies will help support families facing pediatric cancer with non-medical financial assistance, and fund experiences that create emotional support. Additionally, she will engage civic and youth leaders to create service learning opportunities and fundraising for local area children with cancer throughout area schools, teams and clubs.
“I am humbled to carry on the legacy of Mitch’s pinky swear promise and continue to help children and families throughout the greater Kansas City region. Learning how a child’s cancer diagnosis can catapult a family into financial turmoil and knowing we can help when it is most needed, was compelling for me,” added Ms. Bobowksi. “The work we are doing and the programs we offer are unique and offer relief and hope, so that families can remain focused on what is most important; their child.
Most recently Eileen was Manager of Development and Communications at Camp Fire National Headquarters where she developed and managed strategic donor and supporter fundraising and development, community engagement, and marketing and media relations. Previously she has held non-profit leadership positions including Resource Development and Marketing and Communications Specialist at Catholic Charities of KC-St. Joseph’s TurnAround program, a community reentry program for former offenders to help them become productive members of society, and Brand Services Director at YMCA of Greater Kansas City. Eileen spent over 10 years at Hallmark, where she led and directed communications and marketing strategies and served as a liaison to external partners.
Upcoming events in the markets include the Hy-Vee® Pinky Swear Family Fun Run/Walk at Arrowhead Stadium on August 13, 2017, and at Lewis and Clark Landing in Omaha on September 30, 2107. The Fun/Run Walks replace the previous Kids Triathlons in the areas and include the similar activities, such as an opening ceremony, family festival, and fundraising to benefit kids with cancer, but for participants of all ages and abilities. Other Fun Run/Walk locations in the series include Quad Cities, Des Moines, and Chanhassen, Minnesota.
The Pinky Swear Story
Pinky Swear Foundation was founded in honor of Mitch Chepokas, who lost his battle to bone cancer in 2003. In December 2002, 9-year-old Mitch overheard his pediatric oncology ward neighbors stressed about money for Christmas gifts, and generously decided to give away his savings – $6,000 – to other kids fighting cancer. After sneaking envelopes of cash under doors and on nightstands, Mitch told his dad it was the most fun he’d ever had, and he wanted to do it again the following year. With a terminal prognosis, his dad had to tell Mitch the truth: that he wouldn’t be around the following Christmas. That’s when Mitch made his dad, Steve, ‘pinky swear promise’ to continue to help families with kids with cancer even after he was gone. To date, over $13 million has been raised to support brave kids battling cancer in 46 states.
Pediatric Cancer Facts
- A child is diagnosed with cancer every 45 minutes
- The average age of diagnosis is 6 years old
- The average length of treatment is 2 years
- The average family will spend 25% of its disposable income on non-medical related expenses associated with the treatment of their child
- One in 11 families with a child diagnosed with cancer will file for bankruptcy
About Pinky Swear Foundation
Founded in 2003, Pinky Swear Foundation is a 501c(3) not-for-profit passionately committed to helping children with cancer and their families by responding to the immediate crisis facing families with a childhood cancer diagnosis. Pinky Swear supports families’ quality-of-life with financial assistance for basic needs and through experiences that create emotional support, so they can focus on what's most important: their child battling cancer. Inspired by a pinky swear promise made between a 9-year-old boy and his dad, the foundation engages kids to help grow the community of keepers of the pinky swear. Pinky Swear Foundation fundraising activities include annual kids triathlon events, the Hy-Vee® Pinky Swear Family Fun Run/Walk series, National Pinky Swear Day on December 11, and other community engagement events around the nation.