By Andrew Martins
JACKSON – The Chase Ryan Olsen Foundation is continuing its efforts to raise awareness of childhood cancer.
On Jan. 8, the foundation participated in a special event at Central Regional High School, Bayville, that featured the Jackson Memorial and Central Regional high school varsity wrestling teams. The event raised funds for the foundation and awareness of its mission.
“Jackson Memorial head coach Aaron Gottesman knew we had a foundation and he contacted the coach at Central Regional and reached out to us to make this fundraising event a reality,” said the foundation’s founder, Maureen Olsen, of Jackson.
Olsen’s son, Chase, 9, died from a malignant rhabdoid tumor in November 2009. The Chase Ryan Olsen Foundation was created in 2012.
Olsen said the foundation’s efforts have focused on raising awareness of childhood cancer and funding a scholarship for students whose lives have been affected by the disease.
She said that since the foundation was created, it has used the image of a gold ribbon, which signifies childhood cancer awareness, at several of its events. During the recent match, the wrestlers wore gold laces in their shoes and a special T-shirt with gold lettering to signify the occasion.
Two children who are currently battling cancer were acknowledged by the foundation during the event at Central Regional, according to Olsen.
According to the American Cancer Society, there will be more than 10,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed in children 14 and younger this year. Cancer is listed as the second most common cause of death among children in that age group, with approximately 1,250 childhood cancer deaths expected in 2016.
Proceeds from the sale of gold laces and a T-shirt commemorating the event in Bayville went to the Chase Ryan Olsen Foundation and to Oceans of Love, Olsen said.
She said the Chase Ryan Olsen Foundation has been using the money it raises to fund an annual scholarship for Jackson Memorial High School seniors. She said more people are learning about the foundation and its goals, and are getting involved.
For more information, email Maureen Olsen at firstname.lastname@example.org.