Bursts Of Color

Kallie’s Krusade Fundraiser Draws Hundreds To Area

A family crosses the finish line of the Kolors For Kallie event Monday during the annual Kallie’s Krusade. “Kallie claimed at 3 years old that yellow was her favorite color. Funny enough, yellow/gold is the color for Pediatric Cancer Awareness,” said Tara Swan. P-J photo by Daryl Simons Jr.

LAKEWOOD — “Kallie claimed at 3 years old that yellow was her favorite color … that orange was her dog’s favorite color.”

As an orange and yellow sun was shining complete with blue skies, another colorful and successful year has come and gone for Kallie’s Krusade, catered with a warm reception all around, beautiful weather lakeside and a large turnout in support of the charitable effort.

Kallie’s Krusade is used to help raise funding for families who have children facing childhood cancer or other diseases. This event is held in memory of the late Kallie Swan, daughter of Shane and Tara Swan of Falconer, who succumbed to acute lymphoblastic leukemia in May 2015 at the age of 3.

Tara Swan shared some words about this fundraiser: “Today is our Kallie’s Krusade fundraising event, our annual event which is held in September. The reason it is held this month is because September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. That is obviously near and dear to our hearts because that is why we are doing this.”

She also added that this event isn’t simply for Kallie but “in celebration of the families we are honored to help.” They created T-shirts this year that contained the names of all those they have helped since their inception in 2013. Tara Swan talked about the overall activity of the foundation.

“We have helped close to 75 families, and 25 different organizations, for a total of $175,000,” she said. “These funds go towards any kids who are ill, not just childhood cancer. It’s any ill child that we are willing and want to help. Currently, we are working on purchasing a new digital fish-tank for Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo.”

“Kallie really enjoyed the fish tank that she had while receiving treatment at Memorial Sloan Cancer Center in New York City. Our financial goal for the fish tank is $5,000.”

This year’s fundraiser was packed with various events and activities: Kolors for Kallie 5k Run/Walk, Motorcycle Kruise for Kallie, Kallie’s Karnival, Live DJ and band Strange Kind of Sunshine performing, along with various food and drink vendors. Enchanted Fairy Troop of Warren, Pa., was also there and held a meet-and-greet with the kids.

This was all in part due to the generosity of the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club for allowing this event to take place here. “It works out well and it is beautiful to have this right on the lake” Tara Swan said.

The Kruise for Kallie kicked off at 10 a.m. and had over 100 bikers registered this year. The Kolors for Kallie 5K run had an equally impressive turnout, according to Michelle Carlberg, a Frewsburg resident.

“I went to high school with Tara and Shane, Kallie’s Parents,” Carlberg said. “This is my first year helping out with the color run. We have had an amazing turnout, with over 100 people pre-registered and several registered just today. We offered a 5K run/walk as well as a 1 mile run/walk. So families had the option to do whichever they preferred. Since it’s a hot day, we have the Chautauqua County Dairy Princess here serving chocolate milk at the finish line.”

Tara Swan explained the meaning behind the colors used during the Color Run. “Kallie claimed at 3 years old that yellow was her favorite color. Funny enough, yellow/gold is the color for Pediatric Cancer Awareness. Kallie claimed that orange was her dog’s favorite color, which coincidentally stands for Leukemia Awareness. And purple was apparently my favorite color, which is why we incorporated that as well.”

“We encourage people to reach out to us in regards to sick children. We learn about them through social media but fear that we miss out on some who are in need. So if anybody knows or is looking for help, we want to help,” Tara Swan concluded.

For more information on Kallie’s Krusade, visit kallieskrusade.org.