Wednesday, January 7, 2015, I was surprised to see my beautiful daughter’s smiling face on the front page of the Elk Grove Citizen. They were honoring Elk Grove’s Leaders, Trailblazers, and other inspirations. They were profiling those who passed away in 2014. Lauren’s beautiful modeling picture graced the story’s main page. What a surprise and honor to see that the Elk Grove Citizen felt she was an inspirational person the city lost. She was also the youngest, with the next youngest being in his 50’s. Attached is the link to the article: http://www.egcitizen.com/articles/2015/01/09/news/doc54ac75dc32022617398935.txt
Upcoming event alert! Diablo Valley College continues to support cancer awareness and keep Lauren in their hearts. On Friday, January 30th the men’s and women’s basketball teams with be having a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and will be holding the event in honor of Lauren. The swim team will also be in attendance to show their continued support of Lauren and how much they meant to each other. The event is Coaches vs. Cancer, which is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
There will be a pregame ball presentation with the swim team and coaches prior to the women’s game. Lauren’s dad and I will be saying a few words prior to each game. We continue to be amazed at the ongoing love and support from Diablo Valley College Athletics.
The women’s game starts at 5:30 pm. and the men’s game starts at 7:30 pm. at DVC in Pleasant Hill. Please come out to Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill and support this wonderful event. All proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society.
The Diablo Valley College Lacrosse game that benefited the American Cancer Society was a tremendous event. The team is inspirational and won in sudden death overtime. The game winning score came just after the team shouted, “LaurenStrong!” I’ve attached links to the DVC article and a video of the retirement of Lauren’s #1 jersey video that Lauren’s uncle, Alan Kingsley, recorded at the event. http://vimeo.com/112349447
Hell’s Kitchen was an excellent show on the night Lauren was in attendance. To watch the show and see clips of Lauren enjoying her night was awesome! The clips come quickly, so watch for when we enter the dining room at the beginning of dinner service. Lauren enters first, followed closely by mom, then dad and the Dream Foundation representative, Dawn Reid.
The next clips are of the four of us at the table being served our dinner entrees, with Lauren front and center. Then a quick clip of Lauren’s first bite of her beef wellington. If you run the clip in slo-mo, you can see Lauren roll her eyes upward as she savors the bite. Truly Lauren at her finest foodie moment. At the last minutes, Hell’s Kitchen added a tribute to Lauren and included the photo of Lauren with Gordon Ramsay. It’s the last shot of the episode, after the previews to the next week’s episode. The video link is attached to the Hell’s Kitchen episode. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yJlabj_2MY
Sorry for the changes every couple of days, but we confirmed the date of the Hell’s Kitchen episode air date. The Hell’s Kitchen episode that we filmed in September 2013 will actually air next Wednesday, 11/19/14. I was able to connect to the producer of the show and she verified this is the correct episode. She told me they were trying to add a card at the end of the episode to recognize Lauren, although it is last minute so they aren’t sure it will happen. These people are incredible! If you can, set your DVRs to Hell’s Kitchen Wednesday night 11/19/14.
We have received updated information from Diablo Valley College Lacrosse Team. This is what they posted on their website: “…the 11-1 Vikings will begin preparing for their next game as they host an outstanding Dominican University program led by “friend of the program” and President of the CJCLA, Matt Blamey during the American Cancer Society Benefit game. The game should be incredibly exciting and emotional for the Vikings after a pregame ceremony that will honor Lauren McCullough, who spoke courageously and eloquently a year ago about her fight with Ewing’s sarcoma and inspired the crowd about the importance of living each day to the fullest. Though Lauren passed from us on Sunday, February 2nd, 2014, her parents, Deanne and John will be on hand as we will officially retire the #1 jersey that we issued to her during last year’s event. A gold ribbon with the #1 and her initials will forever adorn Viking lacrosse helmets and uniforms, as future Vikings will learn of Lauren, her message, and her importance to Viking Lacrosse and DVC. A suggested donation of $10 for adults and $2 for students of any age will be appreciated and collected directly by an American Cancer Society volunteer at the gate. It is predicted to be great weather for the event, so please consider joining us at 7:00 p.m. to honor Lauren, who was an outstanding swimmer and student at DVC…and stick around to support the 11-1 Vikings against another MCLA Division I team.”
Lauren’s dad and I are so humbled by the care and affection the DVC Lacrosse Team is showing towards Lauren and her enthusiasm for life and looking at the positive in any situation. The game is being held at DVC on Saturday, 11/15/14 at 7:00 pm in the stadium. If anyone is in the Pleasant Hill/Walnut Creek area, we hope you can join us at the event to support the team and their efforts to bring awareness to childhood cancer. Lauren would be so happy to see her message continue on. Here is a link to their page: http://dvc.stage.lacrosseshift.com/news/vikings-roll-4-wins-against-1
When looking at the episode summaries, we now believe Lauren’s Hell’s Kitchen episode will air this Wednesday, November 12, 2014. Our episode had a member of ZZ Top at the dinner, and the 11/12/14 episode is a Rock and Roll episode. The episode after that is an Indian Cuisine episode. Our dinner did not have any Indian dishes on the menu. If you should miss the episode, it will be available to view on Fox.com eight days after it airs. We are hoping to see shots of Lauren enjoying the experience, but we won’t know until it airs if we get to see her smiling face on TV.
The Diablo Valley College Lacrosse Team will be hosting their second annual American Cancer Society benefit game on Saturday, November 15, 2014. The game begins at 7:00 pm at the Diablo Valley College stadium in Pleasant Hill, CA. They will be honoring Lauren McCullough and retiring the #1 jersey that they presented her last year. Lauren’s parents will be there to speak and accept the jersey for Lauren. Please come to support this team and their continuing efforts in raising awareness of childhood cancer, Lauren’s #1 mission. Click on the link for more information.
Lauren was personally invited by Chef Gordon Ramsay to attend the filming of a Hell’s Kitchen episode last September 2013. That episode is due to air on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 on Fox. We don’t know if Lauren will make it on air, but look for her, her dad, mom, and a Dream Foundation representative, Dawn Reid, on the red team side of the restaurant, near the front. The food was fabulous! This was an incredible dream for Lauren, since Gordon Ramsay is her most favorite chef of all. He treated her like a celebrity and was so nice to her (Nothing like how he treats his competing chefs on the show!). Please check your local Fox station for the time in your area. The attached pictures are from the filming last year.
Lauren’s celebration of life was held February 22, 2014 at Laguna Creek High School, her alma mater. The school celebrated her life with the choir singing songs, the swim team helping to greet guests, the color guard presenting the flag, ASB setting up the gym and multi-purpose room, and the activities director and principal organizing and attending the entire event. Lauren would have been so honored. The attached video was made by the Laguna Creek High School Video Club. Special thanks to Nicole Skinner, Class of 2014, who made the film possible.
For those who were unable to attend Lauren’s service, please click on the link to hear the beautiful things that were said about Lauren’s life and fighting spirit. We thank all who sent caring messages of support for the family.
I want to invite you to please come join in the fun and listen to music at The Relay for Life event to be held at the Arroyo High school track (Grant Avenue, San Lorenzo) beginning Saturday, August 9th 9:00 am until Sunday, Aug 10th 8:00 am (closing ceremony) for the American Cancer Society. Come whenever you can and stay as long as you would like, but please bring some donation money so you can participate in the many games and activities or to buy special trinkets or food presented by the 15 teams in the Relay. All proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.
My team named thenotdyinggirl came together to address Pediatric Cancer, which is an unfinished item on the bucket list of my niece, Lauren McCullough. The name is from her blog http://thenotdyinggirl.com in which she narrates her experience of getting the most out of her life while fighting Ewing’s Sarcoma.
For more information, or to donate to the team: http://main.acsevents.org/goto/TheNotDyingGirl
Our team will sponsor the “swim lap” at 5:00 pm. Relay participants will don pool gear and “swim” the lap around the track. Don’t miss the very special Luminaria Ceremony at 9:00 pm which will include a perspective offered by my sister Deanne, Mom of Lauren, and my performance of the song I wrote for all parents, but especially for Deanne, called “Let You Go”. This is my first Relay, but I have heard they are very inspirational and fun.
If you are interested in music here are the bands that will play through out the day: The Fossil Farm Band at 10:00 am, The Standing Still Band at 3:00 pm, Hudson Street Band at 6:00 pm, and Bayfire at 7:30 pm
If you can not come, but wish to make a donation, this is the link to my page: http://main.acsevents.org/goto/CatherineKavasch
Thank you for helping to fight cancer!