On a day when it seemed spring winds were too strong for kites, hope prevailed and the 8th Annual Kites Against Cancer event took off with great success at Hampton Beach. The event supports The Beyond the Rainbow Fund, which provides financial support to cancer patients undergoing treatment at Exeter Hospital’s Center for Cancer Care.
“Kites seem fragile against heavy winds but – like many of the patients we treat – they were resilient and fought strong as they battled the weather,” said Dan Raposa, director of advancement for Exeter Health Resources. “This event has always been an exciting and emotional way to kick off our annual fundraising for The Beyond the Rainbow Fund. Each spring, the skies fill with color and we celebrate our loved ones.”
The annual event and The Beyond the Rainbow Fund were founded in 2002 by Anne-Marie Viviano, a former Exeter Hospital patient and Hampton resident whose desire was to make cancer treatment a little less stressful for patients and their families. Donations to this fund provide cancer patients with assistance for expenses such as groceries, utilities, gas, and rent/mortgage payments, as well as any other practical needs that may become unmanageable during treatment.
For the past two years, Exeter Hospital has recognized a volunteer at the event who has made an impact on the lives of cancer patients through their efforts and support of The Beyond the Rainbow Fund. This year, the family of Anne-Marie Viviano was presented with a hand-painted chair in honor of their dedication to continuing her vision.
Lynn Brunette, Anne-Marie’s mother, wiped away tears of appreciation, as she explained, “We feel very blessed to see the impact that Anne-Marie’s legacy continues to provide to so many. This event and The Beyond the Rainbow Fund has grown into something that inspires us all to help others who are impacted by this horrible disease. Anne-Marie would be so proud of how the community has embraced this event and the Fund.”
With an overwhelming amount of support from the community, Exeter Hospital raised more than $13,000 at this year’s Kites event, all of which will be used to directly help patients in need.
“Financial security is a big concern for many of our patients,” said Cheryl Bougie, nurse navigator at the Center for Cancer Care. “The Beyond the Rainbow Fund is a critical resource that we are fortunate to have available to help our patients through a difficult time. Being able to provide relief from travel expenses or take the worry out of a utility bill goes a long way in enhancing their treatment.”
The fund also provides additional support by offering integrative therapy such as massage, plus wellness and fitness programs that further assist patients in their healing.
As in past years, volunteers played a major role in the success of this year’s event.
“We can’t thank our volunteers enough for making this day so special for attendees,” said Raposa. “From local students, our employees, as well as those from local businesses to our generous event sponsors and contributors– we are fortunate for each and every person who lends a hand to help cancer patients in our community.”
To see additional event photos, visit the Kites Against Cancer event page here.
KITE ENTHUSIASTS AND MEMBERS OF KITES OVER NEW ENGLAND JOIN US EACH YEAR IN SHARING THEIR LARGE KITES AND PASSION FOR KITE FLYING AS PART OF THE DAY’S ACTIVITIES.