Press Releases

Children’s Minnesota’s third annual Shine Bright Bash raises more than $400,000 to support Cancer Kids Fund

Minneapolis, Minn. – (September 12, 2016) – More than 400 guests filled the Minneapolis Event Center on Saturday, September 10 for Children’s Minnesota’s Shine Bright Bash, raising more than $400,000 for Children’s Cancer Kids Fund.

Children’s Minnesota has the largest pediatric cancer and blood disorders program in the Upper Midwest, caring for more than 70 percent of kids diagnosed in the Twin Cities, and ranks among the top 5 percent of Children’s Oncology Group pediatric cancer centers in the United States for enrollment on clinical trials. The Cancer Kids Fund supports services and research aimed at making the journey to health a little easier for pediatric cancer and blood disorder patients and their families.

“The inspirational stories shared from patient families and doctors were a highlight of the night, reminding us how important the strength of the Cancer and Blood Disorders Program is for kids in our region,” said Theresa Pesch, RN, Children’s Minnesota Foundation president. “The generous support Children’s received from attendees and corporate sponsors will impact countless kids battling cancer and allow us to advance our facilities and clinical capabilities, as well as provide support to patients and families through the Cancer Kids Fund.”

Sara and Kevin Shull, whose daughter, Hannah, was diagnosed with infantile acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and spent 190 days at Children’s Minnesota spoke about the support they received from the Cancer and Blood Disorders staff. They urged guests to participate in the night’s Fund-a-Need, with proceeds going to support innovative immunotherapy treatment for leukemia using chimeric antigen receptor T-cells, or CAR T-cell therapy.

“CAR T-cell therapy represents a new frontier in the treatment for leukemia where a patient’s own immune system can be programmed to fight against their leukemia,”  said Dr. Joanna Perkins, pediatric oncologist and Medical Director of Outreach and Service Excellence at Children’s Minnesota. “Community philanthropic support is vital to fund activities such as clinical trials that will help us provide better care and outcomes for our patients.”

Dr. Perkins closed the evening by announcing the honorees of the Ryan Family Award, which recognizes individuals who are exceptionally involved and supportive of Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Program. This year’s Community Star was Geri Jorgenson and the Children’s Star was Jane Hennessy, APRN CNP.

The evening was emceed by KARE 11’s Jana Shortal. Guests embraced the Moulin Rouge theme, showing up in costume and enjoying a fun-filled night with live music by Nightlights and activities that included Fund-A-Need, live and silent auctions, a whiskey wall and wine raffle. A photo and video recap of the evening’s festivities is available on Children’s Facebook page.

This year’s Shine Bright Bash presenting sponsors were Murphy Warehouse Company and Delta Air Lines. Other major sponsors included: Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union; Alerus Mortgage; Physicians of Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Program; Prime Therapeutics; Continental Property Group; Cushman & Wakefield / Northmarq Healthcare Advisory Group; Ryan Families; Sharon Murphy Garber Family; BeEvents; Bob & Susan Dapper; Children’s Respiratory and Critical Care Specialists; Knutson Construction; APi Group, Inc.; The Dahlquist Family; Rob & Geri Jorgenson; Magenic Technologies, Inc.; Frank Kurth & Dr. Margaret Heisl Kurth; Minneapolis Event Centers; Maria Christu & Kevin Staunton; Theresa Pesch & Dean Hilgers; Rudy Luther Toyota; Sodexo; Phillip Trier; Jeffrey & Erin Young.

About Children’s Minnesota

Children’s Minnesota is one of the largest pediatric health systems in the United States and the only health system in Minnesota to provide care exclusively to children, from before birth through young adulthood. An independent and not-for-profit system since 1924, Children’s Minnesota serves kids throughout the Upper Midwest at two free-standing hospitals, 12 primary and specialty-care clinics and six rehabilitation sites. Children’s Minnesota maintains its longstanding commitment to the community to improve children’s health by providing high-quality, family-centered pediatric services and advancing those efforts through research and education. This work is made possible in large part by generous philanthropic and volunteer support from individuals and organizations throughout the state and region. An award-winning health system, Children’s Minnesota is regularly ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top children’s hospital and by The Leapfrog Group for quality and efficiency. Please visit

Kristin Tesmer