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Cookies for Kids’ Cancer needs bakers, buyers


It may be Labor Day weekend when a lot of people are turning their attention to end of summer fun. But as a run up to the big weekend, a part-time Islander is turning her attention to helping others.

It’s all part of “Cookies for Kids’ Cancer”  a program supporting research into pediatric cancers.

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer needs you, a press release states. If you can contribute baked goods to be sold on the Island on Friday, September 1, in front of Dabney Lee’s Gift Shop on Bridge Street or, if you’re  a lover of cookies and cakes and make a purchase, you will be helping to fund research into pediatric cancers as well as  satisfying your sweet tooth.

The organization grew out of tragedy when Larry and Gretchen Witt lost their young son, Liam, to cancer in 2007.

Determined to give some meaning to their loss, they organized Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and reached out to friends to support the effort.

The bake sales sprung up as a means of raising money when the Witt family, who had learned cancer was the number one killer of children,  realized that of the $4.6 billion the American Cancer budgets, only about 3 percent goes to research into pediatric cancers. Breast and prostate cancer research eat most of the organization’s money.

There are 12 major groups of pediatric cancers, the parents were determined to raise money for research into cancers like the one that claimed their son.

Ms. Witt and 250 volunteers began baking and sold 96,000 cookies, raising more than $400,000 to support five research efforts focused on finding less toxic and more effective treatments.

Those receiving money from Cookies for Kids’ Cancer are the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and the Texas Children’s Cancer Center.

Since 2013, the organization has also used some of its funds to match dollar for dollar the federal allowance per child enrolled in the Children’s Oncology Group’s Phase 1 and Pilot Consortium efforts.

The first bake sale on the East End was held several years ago near the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center in Riverhead.

Susan Petrie-Badertscher a friend of the Witts, offered to take on the task of bringing the effort to Shelter Island where she and her family spend summers.

Ms. Petrie-Badertscher reached out to Ms. Lee, who offered to allow the bake sale in front of her Bridge Street gift shoe on Friday, September 1, between 1 and 3 p.m.

Ms. Petrie-Badertscher’s children  — Lily, 13, and Beckett, 11 — are helping their mom organize the event.

This month, in addition to the sale being held here, there will be similar setups as follows: on Thursday, Knockout Beauty at 2400 Montauk Highway  between 1 and 3 p.m.; on Friday, September 1, also between 1 and 3 p.m., in Amagansett at Pink Chicken in Amagansett Square; and on Sunday, between noon and 5 p.m. at the EMP Summer House and Milk Bar on Pantigo Road in East Hampton.

If you’re willing to contribute baked goods for the sale, you can reach Ms. Petrie-Badertscher at (917) 721 8183 or by email at [email protected] Those who wish to contribute money to the cause can do so at cookiesforkidscancer.org.

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