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Candlelighters of the Inland Northwest

Honoring Mothers

As Mother's Day approaches, it is good to remember that mothering is a part of all of us ~ regardless of whether or not we have given birth. It is a mixed bag of the deepest emotions that span the spectrum from joyous nurturing to unfathomable sorrow.

In this issue:

Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation is American Childhood Cancer Organization

From the Director

Deer Park Ladies Golf Club 7th Year Of Helping Kids

Extending our Hand to New Families

A Little Help Goes a Long Way

Mark Your Calendars

Donate On-Line

In Remembrance

University High School Leadership Classes Lead The Way

Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation is

American Childhood Cancer Organization

Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation has changed its name to the American Childhood Cancer Organization. Here in the Inland Northwest, we are considering making this change also. If we decide to do this, we would be the American Childhood Cancer Organization Inland Northwest. We will still remain a local affiliate and our local fundraising efforts will continue to benefit families from throughout Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho, and Western Montana. With this change,  the mission of ACCO has been expanded to include research. Click here for more information on the expanded the mission.


From the Director

Recent events have made it so much more apparent (we didn't really need these recent events) how important it is that we keep focused on the work that we need to do to help alleviate the burden that a childhood cancer diagnosis brings.


Recently one of our Candlelighters families has had to face the diagnosis of a second child with leukemia. Another family is deciding between continuing chemotherapy and stopping treatment. And yet another family is dealing with the very painful and real late effects caused by a treatment that saved their child's life. Several mothers are facing their first Mother's Day without their child.


Candlelighters responds to families facing these tragic circumstances from a place of experience. As parents' who have walked this road, we know that we must find the courage to face our new reality and rise up to be the best advocates possible for our children. We know that we cannot indulge in pity - from others or ourselves. This is not an easy task and a burden best shared with others. Candlelighters - as a group -  brings strength to individuals. Together we face unspeakable sorrow and learn how to find joy in the most hidden of places.


This is at the core of Candlelighters' mission. We understand all the nuances and pitfalls along this road. We have fallen into them, and we have learned how to pull ourselves out. We are living testimony that others can do the same.


When you join us - whether born of personal experience or heart experience - know that you are contributing to a restoration of balance that has been lost. We are here - together - to join forces around families struggling with building their lives back from being torn apart. You can make a difference.


Check out our list of upcoming events ~ we have something for just about everyone.
Deer Park Ladies Golf Club 7th Year Of Helping Kids

The 13th Annual Deer Park Ladies Golf Club Benefit

Tournament is in its 7th year benefiting Candlelighters of the Inland Northwest.


To date, nearly $42,000.00 has been raised to provide direct assistance to children with cancer and their families. The goal for this year is $12,000.00




Mary Anne Ruddis and Lylia Toner


In 2004, member Lylia Toner suggested that funds from the tournament benefit local children with cancer and told members about the Candlelighters of the Inland Northwest.


Candlelighters empowers families from Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho, and Western Montana as they deal with the devastation that a childhood cancer diagnosis brings. “The idea that the funds remained in our local community was a big draw,” said Lylia. 


Lylia has personal experience with childhood cancer. Her daughter Veronica went through treatments when she was in the seventh grade. Today, she is 29 years old, a counselor at Spokane Mental Health, and the mother of a 5 month old – a miracle in and of itself since many children are told they will be infertile as a result of cancer treatments.


Get your team together and register early by contacting Deb Spiger at or click on the link under Upcoming Events for a registration form.


Extending our Hand to New Families

Ten year old Alexis was diagnosed with ALL in February of 2010. Alexis’s favorite color is blue. She likes Tom from Tom and Jerry, as well as Art projects and knitting. Alexis has one sister Ali, and lives in Moses Lake with her mom and dad, Adriana and Brian.


Ericka is seven years old. She relapsed with Leukemia in March of this past year. Ericka loves the color red and playing with her siblings. Erika lives with her mom and dad, Heriberto and Esmeralda in Pasco. She also has two siblings, Erik and Stephanie.


Madelaine was just diagnosed with leukemia after her third birthday. Maddie has an older sister, Anna, who is a leukemia survivor - one year post treatment. Maddie loves princesses and her big sister. She lives with mom Jenny and dad Brian here in Spokane. Our last newsletter featured Anna's story.


A Little Help Goes a Long Way

  • May 18 - 22  and July 6 - 10 Coffee stand at highway rest stop with Foresters Group. Also could use some cookies. Contact Lori Rodriguez


Mark Your Calendars

Donate On-Line

Did you know that you can write in Candlelighters of the Inland Northwest as part of your United Way Giving?


We are a Combined Fund Charity.


Shop in Your Pajamas and Earn Money for Candlelighters


Check out our website to learn how to benefit Candlelighters through IGive, GoodSearch and EBAY too!

In Remembrance

Candlelighters remembers all the children who have passed away ~ most recently a 19 year-old young man who has battled cancer for fourteen months.


Bereavement Group


For all the mothers who are grieving their child this Mother's Day ~ know that our hearts are with you.
University High School Leadership Classes Lead The Way

Mary Anne Ruddis was asked to speak to the University High School Leadership class by Nathan Hundeby last winter (photo). Nathan is a student and Candlelighters member. His sister Peyton is a childhood cancer survivor. That experience led to the students volunteering to help teens with cancer at the annual Candlelighters Teen Christmas Party.

This semester, Mary Anne went back to speak to the current class of future leaders. The class chose Candlelighters as the recipient of funds generated from their annual talent show on April 21, 2010. The students also collected food items to take to the hospital to stock the food cupboards.

The talent show was amazing - so much talent here in Spokane! They raised over $1300.00 for the kids and families! Thank you Mrs. Jessica Boschma - for teaching your students how to lead the way in making a difference in their community!

Candlelighters 6th Annual Dinner and Auction a Success!





to all who made this possible with live and silent


auction donations, attendance, donations,and winning bids!

With your help, we raised $42,000.00


Click here to read Jessica's speech

Light the Way Sponsors:   






Gold Ribbon Sponsor:

Horizon Credit Union

Cand le Sponsors:

Sir Speedy

The Linoleum Shop



2010 Chair: Angela Welsh, Sterling Savings Bank

2010 Co-Chair: Faith Van Belle, Candlelighters


Candlelighters of the Inland Northwest • PO Box 8031 • Spokane • WA • 99203

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