Press Releases

Children’s Minnesota’s fourth annual Shine Bright Bash raises more than $395,000 to support Cancer Kids Fund

MINNEAPOLIS – (September 11, 2017) – More than 400 guests filled the Minneapolis Event Center on Saturday, September 9, for Children’s Minnesota’s Shine Bright Bash, raising more than $395,000 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 ranking among the top five 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.

“This event is a great example of our generous community rallying around a good cause,” said Theresa Pesch, RN, Children’s Minnesota Foundation President. “The money raised will make a huge impact on many families dealing with cancer and blood disorders.”

Jacqueline Englund, who currently works at Children’s as the Adolescent and Young Adult Coordinator for the Cancer and Blood Disorders program, spoke about her cancer journey. Diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma at age 16, she underwent multiple treatments.

“Even though the circumstances were difficult, the staff and services at Children’s were incredible. As a high school student undergoing treatment, my care team was dedicated to keeping my life as close to normal as possible,” said Jacqueline. And the Cancer Kids Fund stepped in to pay for her prom dress. “Between my care team rearranging my treatment schedule so I was able to feel good for prom and Cancer Kids Fund helping pay for my dress, I was able to have a fantastic night and forget about my treatments for an evening.” She encouraged guests to give back to this fund to help those families who are facing both large and small financial hardships during their child’s cancer journey.

Children’s Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Myndy Livingston 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 Regina Finkelstein, Great Clips Franchisee who started the Great Clips Cut-A-Thon 25 years ago. Proceeds from the Great Clips Cut-A-Thon fund Children’s School Re-entry Program that works with patients, their families and their schools to help them make a smoother transition back into a school environment after treatment for a major illness. The Children’s Stars were Liz McDonough, RN, and Peggy Beltz, RN, who were both honored for their years of service to the program, patients and families.

The evening was emceed by KARE 11’s Rena Sarigianopoulos. Guests embraced the Greek 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, Physicians of Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Program, Prime Therapeutics, BeEvents, The Excelsior Group – Healthcare Real Estate Advisory, Great Clips, Ryan Families, Sharon Murphy Garber Family, 1st Choice Pediatric Home Care, Alerus Mortgage, The Berghult Family, Bean + Ro, Maria Christu & Kevin Staunton, Ergodyne, Dean & Lynn Freeman Family, Harper Family Foundation, Magenic Technologies, Inc., Memorial Blood Centers, Jim & Brittany McGurran, Mission Construction, Inc., MSP Commercial, SeaTec and U.S. Bank.

About Children’s Minnesota
Children’s Minnesota is the seventh largest pediatric health system 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 serves kids throughout the Upper Midwest at two free-standing hospitals, 12 primary and specialty care clinics and six rehabilitation sites. Additionally, Children’s is Minnesota’s only Level I pediatric trauma center inside a hospital dedicated solely to children. Children’s 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 is regularly ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top children’s hospital. Please visit

Hayley Sitz