Kylie Rowand Foundation grand opening draws crowd
By Jo Moreland
Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce
For The Alpine Sun
A constant flow of supporters celebrated the grand opening on Feb. 26 of the new Kylie Rowand Foundation office in Alpine!
The daughter of Bree and Luke Rowand of Alpine, Kylie was 2 years old when her almost life-long struggle against neuroblastoma cancer ended on Feb. 7, 2015. Her parents started the foundation to help child cancer patients and their families.
The foundation office at 2358 Tavern Road was filled with families, friends and well-wishers during the Sunday three-hour ribbon-cutting and fund raiser.
“It is with great pleasure that we dedicate this to all the families fighting cancer,” Luke Rowand said before cutting the glossy purple grand opening ribbon.
The foundation has just joined the Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce, which provided the official ceremony. Bree Rowand accepted membership and recognition plaques from the Chamber and State Senator Joel Anderson’s office.
“This family embodies the very best in all of us,” Chamber Chairman Joseph Perricone of The Canvas Makers told the crowd. “We are very awed and humbled at what this family has done. . . We will be totally supportive of everything you need.”
Inspired by Kylie and with the help of people throughout the world, the foundation has granted more than $50,000 to families for such needs as mortgage payments, plane tickets for cancer treatment, utility bills and gift cards.
Also dedicated to raising awareness about childhood cancer and providing money for less toxic treatments of child cancer, the Kylie Rowand Foundation has provided at least $100,000 for the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for neuroblastoma research.
Bree Rowand was smiling and grateful as she struggled at times to keep from tears while thanking everyone, including her mom and dad. The young Rowands have a 14-month-old son, Lucas Kyler Rowand, and another child is expected.
“Kylie created this,” Bree Rowand told everyone. “Everybody here ---- two years later and you’re still here! We were one of those families who would have lost everything without community support. Thank you for coming in here, fighting for us and every kid.”
Rowand said in an interview that her family started the foundation because they saw first-hand “everything that these families have to go through.”
“Some even struggle to put food on the table,” she added. “If you have an idea, you have a power for doing something.”
At the grand opening, people lined up to write checks to match a $10,000 donation for the foundation. Guests were also buying Kylie items to support the foundation and enjoying entertainment, barbecue and refreshments. Children had an entire room for activities.
Chamber President/CEO Mary Rynearson; Chamber Director Rose Signore of Postal Annex; Chamber Ambassador Carol Morrison of the Alpine Historical Society and Chamber staff helped with the ribbon cutting.
Signore is running for the Chamber’s Honorary Mayor position this year. All candidates get to raise money for their favorite cause or project and Signore has been campaigning for the Kylie Rowand Foundation.
“I couldn’t have picked a better cause,” she said, looking around the busy office.
To learn more about donating or volunteering, call to help fight childhood cancer, call (844) 511-5959, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.kyliestrong.org.