Eagles Community Quarterback Cindy Kerr Wins $50,000 for ConKerr Cancer
Philadelphia Eagles and Teva Pharmaceuticals Award $100,000 to recognize local volunteers
PHILADELPHIA, Pa., May 19, 2011 - Last night at the NovaCare Complex, the Philadelphia Eagles and Teva Pharmaceuticals honored 10 local volunteers at the annual Eagles Community Quarterback Awards, including the 2011 Eagles Community Quarterback winner, Cindy Kerr, awarding her $50,000 for her outstanding work through her non-profit organization, ConKerr Cancer.
The Community Quarterback Award recognizes outstanding volunteers throughout Philadelphia and its surrounding communities. The program serves as a way to recognize the hard work and efforts of individuals who give so selflessly to enhance the lives of others.
Cindy Kerr currently serves as the CEO of ConKerr Cancer, as well as the Philadelphia Regional Coordinator and a ConKerr Cancer volunteer. The organization was founded after Cindy’s son, Ryan, was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer. Recognizing the impersonal nature of a sterile hospital room, Cindy decided to make fun and cheerful pillowcases to brighten up her son’s stay. Her idea began to take flight and soon, Cindy found herself making pillowcases for other children in the Oncology Unit at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
After Cindy’s son’s cancer returned for a third time, she recruited additional assistance in efforts to make enough pillowcases for the children she encountered during her hospital visits.
This soon escalated and, since its inception three years ago, ConKerr Cancer has delivered approximately 350,000 pillowcases to sick children; 70,000 of which have been in Philadelphia. In an effort to break up the monotony of extended hospital stays, she also started sewing sessions for children at the hospitals. She visits various hospitals several times a month, teaching children how to sew their own pillowcases and working to combat the boredom of their day. Each child is given the opportunity to select his or her own fabric, which has been described by one of the hospital managers as a way for each child to have “a sense of self control which, all too often, is difficult for a child to experience in the healthcare setting.”
In addition, she visits schools, church groups and community organizations to build awareness around childhood cancer and encourages volunteerism through these channels. She has even worked with prisoners in a Maryland jail, assisting them in the production and donation of 2,800 pillowcases for ConKerr Cancer’s cause.
Sadly, Cindy’s son lost his battle with cancer in February 2008, but the memory of him lives on in Cindy’s work. What started as a small gesture to brighten her son’s hospital visit, has now spread enormously. Her dedication and efforts have been realized across all areas of her work and she has become a beacon of hope to the children, families, hospital staff and the volunteers that she works with. ConKerr Cancer currently has 125 chapters worldwide and serves children in 225 hospitals, Ronald McDonald Houses and pediatric hospices across the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Israel and the U.K.
After winning and receiving her personalized Eagles jersey and an oversized $50,000 check from Eagles Alum, Darwin Walker and Voice of the Eagles, Merrill Reese, Cindy was overcome with emotion. “I feel fortunate to give other children the same inspiration and joy that Ryan found so comforting,” she said, “thanks to Teva Pharmaceuticals and the Philadelphia Eagles, this money will allow ConKerr Cancer to reach more children in more locations and provide them with hope during their difficult time.”
“We are so proud to honor Cindy and all of the amazing volunteers here tonight,” said Julie Hirshey, Philadelphia Eagles Community Relations Manager. “The impact of their work is far reaching and we are pleased to be able to support them and recognize the great work they are doing for others.”
At last night’s ceremony, nine additional finalists were also recognized for their volunteerism and dedication to serving those in need. Two runners up received $11,000 and seven additional finalists received $4,000, each donated in their name, to the non-profit organizations they serve. Those finalists are:
• Matt Frangiosa of King of Prussia, Pa – Feel The Warmth
• Ginny Kremer of Jenkintown, Pa – American Red Cross, Southeastern PA Chapter
• Brian Damiani of Richboro, Pa – The Miracle League of Northampton Township
• Paula Ecker of Blue Bell, Pa – Fox Chase Cancer Center
• Brenda Jones of Southampton, NJ – Hug Wraps
• Jeff Novak of Sewell, NJ – Make-A-Wish Foundation
• William Shelton of Kennett Square, Pa – The Crime Victims’ Center of Chester County
• Jackye Smith of Ardmore, Pa – Bethel Academy
• Barri Pepe of Prospect Park, Pa – Myra’s Place
“The selection process was intense,” said Denise Bradley, senior director of corporate communications at Teva Pharmaceuticals, “we had so many great applicants and each story was more inspiring than the next. The work that these people are doing is incredible and we are proud to support these individuals.”
Teva Pharmaceuticals is the corporate sponsor for all of the Philadelphia Eagles community events and, for the second year in a row, has been able to provide monetary support towards the Community Quarterback Award, which now totals $100,000 in funding towards the finalists’ non-profit organizations.
For more information on each of the finalists, click here.
Teva North America is comprised of subsidiaries of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. In North America, Teva has locations in 10 states, Canada and Puerto Rico and more than 7,500 employees. In fact, one in every six prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. and one in every seven dispensed in Canada is a Teva product.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., headquartered in Israel, is a leading global pharmaceutical company, committed to providing consumers with access to high-quality healthcare by developing, producing and marketing affordable generic, innovative and specialty products, as well as active pharmaceutical ingredients.
The Company is the largest maker of generic pharmaceutical products, has a global product portfolio of more than 1,450 molecules and a direct presence in 60 countries. The branded businesses focus on neurology, respiratory, women’s health and biologics.