Our area is fortunate to have some of the most generous people in the country—people who are able to endow hospitals, schools and museums, who work to preserve our culture and our history and give those less fortunate access to a better, brighter future. In this issue of Chutzpah, we are adding to the rolls of these philanthropists the following 22 people whose amazing initiatives, compassion and dedication deserve recognition.
Sharon Snyder has a very personal connection to Kisses For Kyle (http://www.kissesforkyle.org), of which she is founder and president. Her first son Kyle was diagnosed with leukemia just three weeks shy of his second birthday. After a very courageous eight-month battle, Kyle lost his young life. The family had a memorial fund in Kyle’s name shortly after he passed away, but after a few years of raising funds for other organizations, Sharon realized she needed to find a loving and healthy way to honor her child every day. She began the organization, the Kisses for Kyle Foundation, in 2001 as a means to keep Kyle present in this world and help other local families going through what her family once did. A main goal for the Foundation is to help alleviate massive financial burdens put on families due to the hardship and diagnosis of childhood cancer. Another mission is to put a smile on the faces of local children with cancer and their families by providing services such as hosting celebratory and birthday parties, inviting families to special events, providing sporting event and other tickets and having a gift giving program to provide items requested by the children it helps. To date, the Kisses for Kyle Foundation has raised over $400,000.