‘Pink Tea’ fundraiser to help send area kids to Camp Kesem this summer

A table with place settings for a previous Pink Tea fundraising event, Cedar City, Utah, March 2018 | Image courtesy of Moms Club of Iron County, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — The 9th annual “Pink Tea” fundraiser once again is aiming to raise money to send local children to Camp Kesem, a free summer camp for kids whose parents have had or are currently battling cancer.

This year’s event will take place from 2-5 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, March 23, in the main ballroom of the Sharwan Smith Student Center on the Southern Utah University campus. The cost of a table for 10 is $350, while individual tickets are $40 per plate.

And as has been done the last few years, all of the proceeds from the Pink Tea will go to the Camp Kesem chapter at SUU to send local kids to the organization’s popular summer camp.

Read more: Camp Kesem offers children coping with a parent’s cancer a chance to ‘be a kid’ for a week

According to an emailed announcement about the event, Pink Tea of Southern Utah was originally started nine years ago as an event sponsored by the Cedar City Rotary Club to raise money for patients at the Cedar City Hospital Cancer Center.

The Pink Tea was later turned over to a group of community members who decided to continue it on their own as a fundraising event, focusing on raising money for local charitable organizations that benefit women and children.

Attendees at a previous Pink Tea fundraising event, Cedar City, Utah, March 2018 | Image courtesy of Moms Club of Iron County, St. George News / Cedar City News

Pink Tea Committee chairwoman Cyndi Wallace, who is also the nurse administrator at Cedar City Hospital, said, “The Pink Tea is the only event of its kind, with the focus solely on women and children’s charities in Cedar City. It’s sponsored by the Moms Club of Iron County, which is a national organization of young moms who come together to provide support and service opportunities for its members.”

The Pink Tea is the largest event that the Moms Club is involved in during the year, and the Pink Tea Committee partners with them to organize and plan the event, Wallace added.

Founded at Stanford University in 2000, Camp Kesem has since expanded to 116 chapters in universities in 42 states across the country. Utah has three chapters: one at Brigham Young University, one at Dixie State and one at SUU.

“Last year, Camp Kesem in Southern Utah took more than 120 kids to camp, at no cost to their parents,” Wallace said. “The kids just get to be kids for a week during the summer, leaving the worry about their parent’s cancer and treatment behind, while being supported by SUU student volunteer counselors with specialized training.  This benefits both the camper and the counselor, and it is a win-win for everyone.”

Last year’s Pink Tea raised more than $10,000, which was enough money to send more than 20 young campers to Camp Kesem.

A decorated table for a previous Pink Tea fundraising event, Cedar City, Utah, March 2018 | Image courtesy of Moms Club of Iron County, St. George News / Cedar City News

The community is invited to support this year’s Pink Tea. It has become a tradition over the years to wear fancy hats, and there will be some on site for sale or rent for the day.  There will be entertainment from the Neil Simon Festival Players, and some of the campers who’ve attended Camp Kesem in past years will share their inspiring stories.

“There will be fabulous finger sandwiches and sweets, delicious hot tea and lemonade will be a satisfying afternoon treat,” Wallace added. “There will be a silent auction of many pieces of jewelry, art, and other items that are geared toward women and kids interests. There will also be a live auction with a quilt, and gorgeous items made and donated by the Cedar City Woodturners, along with other items. It’s truly the most fun event, supporting the most wonderful cause: to bring some happiness and hope to a child through Camp Kesem.”

Event details

  • What: 9th annual “Pink Tea” fundraiser, sponsored by Moms Club of Iron County.
  • When: Saturday, March 23, from 2-5 p.m.
  • Where: Sharwan Smith Student Center ballroom on the SUU campus, 351 W. University Boulevard, Cedar City.
  • Cost: Individual tickets are $40 per plate. An entire table for 10 may be reserved for $350. Tickets and tables may be purchased at the SUU box office, by calling 435-586-7872.
  • Additional information: Pink Tea of Southern Utah Facebook page.

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