Kendra’s Kisses Foundation raises money to offer monetary grants given to children’s families whose kids are battling cancer. The foundation, which takes no profits or paid positions so they can place 100% of their fundraising into the grants, was named after a loving, young girl who passed away too soon.
Kendra was only two and a half years old when she was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor (medulloblastoma). Being so young when she was diagnosed, her diagnosis and treatment became her norm. According to Marc Vermont, Kendra’s Father, “She was always so loving… Every nurse who came in to poke and prod her. Every doctor who was part of her treatment, she gave them a hug and a kiss – every single one. She never let it get her down. She continued to spread love and kisses.”
Shortly after Kendra passed on May 3, 2007 at the tender age of 4, surrounded by those who loved her, Marc Vermont and his wife, Christy Vermont, created the Kendra’s Kisses Foundation to give back to other families in need.
While Kendra was being treated at St. Jude Hospital, Marc and Christy found themselves surrounded by a tight-knit community that delivered endless support. Marc, Assistant Chief at the Oakland Park Fire Rescue, recalled: “The Fire Department community came together to raise money for us, they worked my shifts so I could be at the hospital with Kendra.”
When Kendra passed away, there was still money left over. The couple decided to pass the money along to kids and their families who weren’t as fortunate to be supported by a network like Marc was.
Since the charity’s founding in 2008, they have given away over $100,000 in grants to eligible families in Palm Beach, Dade, and Broward counties.
In previous years, the foundation held an annual 5K race at Markham Park. This singular large event sustained the organization’s funding needs for the entire year. However, the foundation ran into a problem when they found themselves having difficulty choosing a day that wasn’t booked up with other events, marathons, and races in the area. Their attendance numbers started to drop.
Fortunately, Marc and Christy met a couple who runs a non-profit in Tampa that has raised money from comedy shows for over 14 years. After they saw the comedy fundraising event for themselves first-hand, the couple decided to expand the idea to bring a comedy benefit right here to South Florida to benefit Kendra’s Kisses.
The very first comedy fundraiser event is just around the corner.
Crack-Up Cancer is a comedy fundraiser event being held on Saturday, April 23, 2022, at 7:00 PM at the Savor Theatre in downtown Fort Lauderdale. It is an 18+ event featuring MC Raul Perez and four outstanding comics: Theresa Carissimi, Derek Richards, Dean Napolitano, and Al Romas.
General admission tickets are $40 and VIP tickets are $125 on-sale now at BrownPaperTickets.com. VIP tickets are sponsored by the Funky Buddha who will be providing the hors-d’œuvres as well as an open bar. VIP attendees also gain access to priority seating in the first three rows and meet and greets with the comics.
100% of the proceeds go to benefit Kendra’s Kisses.
While purchasing tickets to the Crack-Up Cancer Comedy Benefit is one great way to support Kendra’s Kisses, there are other ways you can get involved.
One of the easiest ways is to sign up for an Amazon Smile account, select Kendra’s Kisses Foundations as your charity of choice, and Amazon will donate 0.01% of your purchases to the foundation. You can also make a monetary donation on Kendra’s Kisses foundation’s website to support the grants directly.
While Kendra’s time on earth was shortened by cancer, the Vermont family has made sure that her legacy lives on.
Cassidy Webb is a Texas native and South Florida transplant. She grew up just outside of Dallas, TX, and moved to South Florida four years ago. She now considers Fort Lauderdale her home.
Cassidy is the project manager at a small digital marketing company and she enjoys freelance writing on the side. In her free time, you can catch her exploring local parks or taking long walks through the neighborhood with her dog, Bella.