Each year, Children’s Cancer Research Fund presents Butterfly Awards to individuals, organizations and teams who have contributed significant time, service and resources to ending childhood cancer. We’re truly thankful for the passion and commitment shared by these award recipients.
The Dykes Family
During the 29th Annual Dawn of a Dream gala, the Dykes family first shared the story of Connor’s battle with cancer. Diagnosed with a brain tumor at just six weeks old, he survived an emergency surgery to remove the tumor, chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. Today, though Connor lives with developmental disabilities, partial blindness and seizures as a result of his cancer treatment, his love of golf and Minecraft shine through. He even rode 135 miles and helped his team raise over $15,480 for CCRF during the past two years through the Great Cycle Challenge. His parents, David and Mindy, continue to share their story to raise awareness and inspire advocacy for childhood cancer research. In addition, David brings our mascot, C.C. Bear, to life at special events, and Joselyn, Connor’s big sister, volunteers her time with the organization as well. Mindy also works at CCRF as a community outreach coordinator, supporting cancer families and helping them share their stories.
JoAnn has provided wonderful support for children and families since 2009 as a Care Partners volunteer at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. Over the years, her kindness has touched families through the many areas of support that Care Partners offers. She has served as a family volunteer, special events volunteer and Sibshops volunteer, and she helps get meals to families during monthly dinners at the hospital. JoAnn’s warm presence and generous spirit represent the best of the Care Partners program as she helps to ease the burden for families who are confronted by profound challenges.
Punch Neapolitan Pizza
Since 2009, Punch has been a proud supporter of childhood cancer research, contributing more than $86,000 to CCRF. Each September, they honor Childhood Cancer Awareness Month by donating 10 percent of pizza sales and helping raise awareness for the cause with staff and customers at their nine restaurants. In addition, they’ve donated proceeds from store grand opening events and continue to provide prizes to help raise money at CCRF events.
The Laura League
The Laura League has raised over $58,000 for osteosarcoma research through their annual participation at Time to Fly and ongoing fundraising efforts. The team was formed in 2014 to honor Laura Goering’s battle with bone cancer – and in that first year, they became the largest team ever at Time to Fly, with 240 participants! Known for her bubbly personality and sense of humor, Laura also served as CCRF ambassador at Macy’s Glamorama in 2012. Her parents, John and Mary, and her brother, Alex, continue The Laura League in her memory after she passed away in September 2014.
Logan Spector, PhD
Logan Spector, PhD joined the University of Minnesota in 2002 as a post-doctoral fellow in cancer epidemiology. He is now a professor and director of the division of epidemiology and clinical research and holds the Suzanne Holmes Hodder Chair in Pediatric Research. He also serves as a co-chief medical advisor for CCRF. Dr. Spector has been the principal investigator of four grants from the National Institutes of Health totaling over $10 million, and author of over 100 peer-reviewed papers examining the causes of childhood cancer. He also leads a grant program that has trained nearly two dozen PhD students and post-doctoral fellows who now conduct childhood cancer research around the nation. As his colleague, David Largaespada, PhD says, “Dr. Spector is a generous, thoughtful and creative researcher—a real joy to work with. He has a broad vision for helping sarcoma patients and their families and is relentlessly working to understand why kids get cancer – and what we can do about it.”