Pinky Swear Foundation to Host 3rd Annual Orange & Blue Gala to Benefit Childhood Cancer Patients and Their Families

Charlotte, NC (January 11, 2018)—The third annual Pinky Swear Orange and Blue Gala will be held on Saturday, February 3, 2018 from 6:30-11:00 pm at the beautiful Trump National Golf Club situated on the shores of Lake Norman in Mooresville, North Carolina. The evening’s program will feature local All-Stars – kids with cancer – and their families who have been supported by Pinky Swear. Eight-year-old All-Star Noah and his mom, Tracy, will share their personal story and how Pinky Swear helped with rent and utility payments after he was diagnosed with leukemia in 2015.

“I’m so grateful for Pinky Swear, especially because I didn’t know sometimes how I was going to pay my rent and I would be worried sick literally thinking, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to do this. I can’t work. I can’t pay my bills.’,” explained Tracy. “It just took a lot of stress off of everything, so I could focus on getting Noah well.”

Before nine-year-old Mitch Chepokas died from cancer in 2003, his dad made a pinky swear promise to continue to help kids with cancer and their families. Since then, nearly $14 million has been raised to support families across the U.S. Guests will be joining in the celebration of the 15th anniversary of that pinky swear promise, while helping further the Pinky Swear Foundation mission to support families’ quality-of-life with direct financial aid for basic needs, and through experiences that create emotional support.

“The Orange & Blue Gala is the most special night for Charlotte-area supporters, sponsors and families we’ve helped to all come together and help raise funds for our mission to help kids with cancer,” said Sue Ratcliff, Pinky Swear Area Director. “This year’s event is going to be even bigger and better as we build awareness about Pinky Swear.”

The unforgettable evening will include fine dining and cocktails by Tito’s Vodka mixologist, DiSean Burns, beer, and wine provided by Euclid Wines. Attendees can bid on over 50 silent and live auction packages, including tickets to the Taylor Swift Reputation Tour with hotel accommodations for four in Atlanta, and other luxurious health and fitness, fine dining and party packages. Live entertainment will be provided by Acoustic 2.0. Darren Zino and Chris Uhlic will play acoustic music while guests mingle, and later DJ the dance portion throughout the remainder of the evening.

The previous two Orange & Blue Galas raised $200,000+ to further the Pinky Swear mission. Tickets are $150 per person and may be purchased online. Attendees are encouraged to wear blue and orange cocktail attire.

The Pinky Swear Story

Pinky Swear Foundation was founded in honor of Mitch Chepokas, who lost his battle to bone cancer in 2003. In December 2002, 9-year-old Mitch overheard his pediatric oncology ward neighbors stressed about money for Christmas gifts, and generously decided to give away his savings of $6,000 to other kids fighting cancer. After sneaking envelopes of cash under doors and on nightstands, Mitch told his dad it was the most fun he’d ever had, and he wanted to do it again the following year. With a terminal prognosis, his dad had to tell Mitch the truth: that he wouldn’t be around the following Christmas. That’s when Mitch made his dad, Steve, ‘pinky swear promise’ to continue to help families with kids with cancer even after he was gone.

About Pinky Swear Foundation

Founded in 2003, Pinky Swear Foundation is a 501c(3) not-for-profit passionately committed to helping children with cancer and their families by responding to the immediate crisis facing families with a childhood cancer diagnosis. Pinky Swear supports families’ quality-of-life with financial assistance for basic needs and through experiences that create emotional support, so they can focus on what’s most important – their child battling cancer. Inspired by a pinky swear promise made between a 9-year-old boy and his dad, the foundation engages kids to help grow the community of keepers of the pinky swear. Pinky Swear Foundation fundraising activities include annual kids triathlon events, National Pinky Swear Day on December 11, and other community engagement events around the country.

Pediatric Cancer Facts

  • A child is diagnosed with cancer every 45 minutes
  • The average age of diagnosis is 6-years-old
  • The average length of treatment is 2 years
  • The average family will spend 25% of its disposable income on non-medical related expenses while their child is being treated
  • One in 11 families with a child diagnosed with cancer will file for bankruptcy

Media Contacts

Sue Ratcliff, Area Director – North Carolina

Pinky Swear Foundation

Mobile 704.808.0123  |  email


Jenny Peters, Director of Marketing

Pinky Swear Foundation

Mobile 612.916.3060  |  email

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