Hallmark Keepsake Collectors Give CureSearch a Gift Worth Remembering

More than 2,100 members of Hallmark’s Keepsake Ornament Club gave CureSearch something to smile about – a check for $45,550. This special group of Hallmark’s most loyal and passionate customers gathered at the Hyatt Crown Center hotel in Kansas City, MO, on August 5 and 6 for their bi-annual conference. At the end of the event, Hallmark holds a live auction and the proceeds from the auction benefits a select charity each time it’s held.

"These people love everything about Hallmark, and the majority of them belong to local ornament collecting clubs around the country and get involved in many charity fund raisers," says Sherry Ratcliffe, head of the Keepsake Ornament Club.

Among the event highlights, Don Hall Jr., president and CEO of Hallmark, and Jack Moore, president of Hallmark Gold Crown, spoke to the crowd at the Friday night dinner. "But the Keepsake artists are the real rock stars for this group," says Ratcliffe.

"We auctioned off several one-of-a-kind ornament prototypes or ornaments that artists sculpted but the company never produced," says Ratcliffe. The chart-topper of the evening: For the first time, the Hallmark Creative Workshop produced a life-size cupboard for the auction – a replica of this year’s primary event ornament. "That piece alone sold for $16,000!" says Ratcliffe.

Hallmark chose CureSearch as its beneficiary this year for several reasons. Ratcliffe’s daughter, Misty, is a thyroid cancer survivor; she was diagnosed in college, at age 21.

Kara Cunningham and her son, Lane, took part in Hallmark’s Keepsake Ornament Club conference, which raised $45,550 for CureSearch.

Misty’s college roommate and friend since childhood, Kara Cunningham, has a son, Lane, now age 5, who was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma when he was 9 months old. He was treated at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City and Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, KS, both of which receive children’s cancer clinical trials funding from CureSearch. After 16 months of treatment, Lane was declared "NED – no evidence of disease" in September 2007. Next month, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month will be that much sweeter as Lane and his family celebrates four years cancer free!

The Keepsake Ornament Club began holding its conference in 1991. The event used to be held in a different city every other year, but in 2009, Hallmark decided to keep the event closer to home, in Kansas City.

CureSearch is extremely grateful to Hallmark and the Keepsake Ornament Club for choosing us as the recipient of its charity proceeds and we look forward to partnering on future events.

Christine Bork
Email Christine
(800) 458-6223

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