Yes, our annual holiday splashes were splashier than ever. We raised more money at Winter Wonderland, the pre-party Saturday fundraiser, than we had in the prior two years. And it’s well on its way to becoming a Boston holiday tradition.
And speaking of holiday traditions, the party was spectacularly spectacular and, thanks to our 2,500+ volunteers, came off without a hitch. We hosted 6,000 guests, including 4,500+ kids from shelters throughout the greater-Boston area. And every one of those got a gift from their wishlist, donated and wrapped by our wonderful supporters, from those who chose one or two children to buy for, to corporations that asked for hundreds of names for their employees to take care of.
And at post-party Monday Mania, we distributed tens of thousands more toys and other gifts for families in need. For latecomers, we managed to stay open until 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve so that no child would go without for the holidays.
But that’s not what we’re here to talk about now.
Introducing the Jake Kennedy ALS Fund
As most of you probably know by now, our founder and leader, Jake Kennedy, was recently diagnosed with ALS. Jake being Jake, and his wife Sparky being Sparky, and their kids being Kennedys, their thoughts immediately turned to figuring out what sort of good could come out of this lousy news. So:
Jake, Sparky and their children have decided to create the Jake Kennedy ALS Fund to support the promising ALS-related research underway at UMass Medical School, with 100 percent of the donations supporting ALS research.
Jake and Sparky Kennedy have lived their lives helping those less fortunate through their 30 years of running Christmas in the City…So now these people who have given so much, Jake and Sparky, and their children, are finally willing to accept your help—-all in the name of finding a cure for ALS. Through a partnership with the ALS Center at UMass Medical School, the Jake Kennedy ALS Fund is now looking for your support.
The family would like to raise $1M to help rid the world of this terrible disease, which has impacted so many – inluding the Kennedy Family. Jake’s father died of ALS, as did his brother Jimmy (at the age of 31). In 2016, his brother Ratt – also known as Richard and the other brother in Kennedy Brothers PT – was diagnosed with ALS. This after he had himself helped raise $2M to support ALS research. Jake and Sparky’s son Zack – that’s Zack on the end with his wife and baby – is a post-doc at UMass Medical, where he’s doing ALS reearch.
If you’re reading this post, there’s a pretty good chance that Jake has impacted your life in some way. He’s helped you recover from surgery or an injurry. He’s helped you tune up for a marathon run. He’s offered you an opportunity to volunteer. He’s helped your family out during a time of need. He’s put a smile on your kid’s face. He’s put a smile on your face. He’s given you a nickname. He’s roped you into something or other. He’s gotten you to open your heart and wallet to support Christmas in the City.
And now we’re asking you to open those hearts, to open those wallets, to give Jake and Sparky what they’re looking for now: to take the Jake Kennedy ALS Fund over the top.
It’s time for all of us to give back to Jake Kennedy, fighting for his life and fighting for a cure for ALS. Jake has run 37 Boston Marathons, always understanding that race is a marathon, not a sprint. But curing ALS is a sprint, not a marathon. We need your help now!
Jake tells everyone that he is “the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” Please make a donation to the Jake Kennedy ALS Fund today.
If you want to get the deduction in for 2019, tomorrow’s the last day for making a donation. If you want to make that donation in 2020, that’s cool, too. Let’s just do this!
Jake and Sparky say that they’d like to raise $1M. Christmas in the City says GAME ON!
All 2020 Live Events Canceled
Due to COVID-19, all live events for 2020 are canceled. However, we are STILL helping shelters celebrate the holidays. Although we will not be holding our traditional public events this year, we remain steadfast in our commitment to helping Boston area families in need.
We are working directly with a number of the shelters to make sure that families experiencing homelessness will still have a joyful holiday season. So we are still in need of financial donations, as well as wishlists and other items for the families and for the shelters we’re working with.
You’ll find information on how you can get involved here. This is a work in progress! Over the next month or so, we’ll be supplying more detail on our needs, drop off locations, etc. And financial donations are always welcome.