Inside Gillette Blog
Posted On: 06/25/2014
Posted On: 05/27/2014
Taylor Piepenhagen (left), pictured with mom Kristina, while dropping off donations.
Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself? I am an honor roll student in my junior year of high school. I am an editor of the yearbook and I work at Walgreen's.
Q: What made you want to volunteer at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare? I was sitting in the car last summer going to the mall with my mom. She was talking, but I was in my own world! I was thinking about how I want to make a difference. I feel like people get so caught up in life stressors that they don't have perspective outside of their immediate life.
Q: How did you turn that revelation into action? I started a business with the help of my mom called Pretty in Pink Tutus and More. For every item sold including tutus, hair accessories, blankets, and burb rags, I decided I would donate two items. This is something close to my heart. I am putting my own money into this in order to put a smile on children’s and families’ faces. I want them to know people care about them.
Q: How did you select Gillette as your donation spot? When it came closer to donation time I didn't really have to research what hospital I wanted! Gillette instantly came to mind. Plus it’s a local hospital, and that was really important to me.
Q: What was the donation experience like for you? Life changing- I can’t wait to go back with even more things!
Do you want to get involved at Gillette? Learn how by clicking here.
Posted On: 03/12/2014
This fall, Gillette will host our third annual Laugh Out Loud Twin Cities (LOLTC) comedy event, benefiting Gillette. Last year, headliner Howie Mandel entertained more than 500 people, and the evening’s activities raised more than $250,000!
We are recruiting committee members to volunteer their time and talents to plan and execute this year’s event, which will take place Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Minneapolis.
What does it mean to serve on this committee? Once a month, you’ll meet with a group of passionate and committed individuals who want to help make LOLTC fun for everyone who attends. From planning fundraising activities like the “mystery box” or “wine toss,” to decorating the venue for the event, there are lots of ways we can use your help.
We ask that committee members be available for the majority of monthly meetings (twice each month as the event date comes closer) and be available to volunteer at and attend the event on Sept. 27.
For more information about this special volunteer opportunity, please contact Jenny Floria at 651-229-1766 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also go to loltwincities.org/contact/ and provide us with your contact information. Someone will get in touch with you.
Posted On: 01/13/2014
Penelope Deignan is a charming and funny 6-year-old whose mom, Kelly, describes as a swimmer and an artist. To those who don’t know her, Penelope an average first grader who has a scar on the front of her neck. To some, a scar may be something one tries to cover up or hide, but to Penelope, the scar is a part of her story.
Penelope’s Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare experience began when she was successfully treated at Gillette as an infant because of hip dysplasia. She experienced no further health issues until, while at cheerleading camp last August, Penelope began having neck pain and returned to Gillette for treatment. She was soon diagnosed with Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH), a rare condition that occurs when the body accumulates too many immature Langerhans cells, a type of white blood cell that normally helps the body fight infection. When too many of these blood cells build up and accumulate, they can form tumors or damage internal organs. In Penelope’s case, LCH had caused a tumor in the C5 vertebrae of her spinal column—causing pain in her neck.
After the diagnosis, the plan was to treat the tumor with chemotherapy. But just before the treatment was to begin, the tumor unexpectedly collapsed. Penelope spent a week in Gillette’s orthopedic unit while doctors managed her pain. During this time, her tumor collapsed once again, causing additional complications. That’s when pediatric neurosurgeon Patrick Graupman, M.D., performed a spinal fusion surgery in September, 2013 to prevent permanent damage to her spinal column.
Despite everything Penelope went through, she wasted no time springing back into action. Just three months after her surgery, today Penelope is back in the pool and back in school. However, Gillette was never far from Penelope’s mind after her stay ended. “She loved her experience at Gillette,” Kelly explains. “She wanted to go back after she came home from the hospital! It was a really big experience for her--but a great one.”
Soon after Penelope came home from the hospital, she began drawing comics about animals going to Gillette for care. It didn’t take long until Penelope’s friends started asking for her comics. Instead of giving them away, Penelope decided to have a hot cocoa stand outside of their house, selling hot cocoa and comics to raise money for Gillette. So one chilly day, she bundled up, set up her stand and, in total, and raised $15! She donated every penny to Gillette.
“I’ve come to appreciate the caring staff and how they helped Penelope feel really good about herself,” says Kelly. “They always gave her confidence that she’d get better.” Kelly adds, “I think it says a lot that Penelope wants to go back to Gillette and become a surgeon like Dr. Graupman.” Until Penelope can reach her goal of being a surgeon, she’s planning even more hot cocoa and comic sales to continue giving back.
Posted On: 01/07/2014
Listen to KS95 (94.5 FM) this week, and you’ll hear a familiar name: Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. It’s all thanks to the local radio station, which generously granted us a free 60-second radio spot. Not only does the spot highlight the role of Gillette’s specialty-care expertise in moving our patients and families forward, it also calls attention to our illuminated Gillette Tree—a symbol of the expertise of our staff and generosity of our donors. The spot closes by encouraging listeners to support Gillette with a donation. Listen to the spot here!
Posted On: 12/18/2013
Giving back and being charitable were the topics during the December 8th “Your Money” radio show on WCCO-AM sponsored by the Wealth Enhancement Group. As a thank you to their loyal listeners, the Wealth Enhancement Group is offering a free second opinion on financial plans for retirement. For every person who schedules an in-person or a telephone review, the Wealth Enhancement Group is donating $100 to Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.
Guests on the program included Wendy Paulson, Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, who provided an overview about Gillette and how donations benefit Gillette patients and Ryan McKeown, Senior Vice President, Financial Advisor from the Wealth Enhancement Group, who answered listener’s charitable giving questions.
The “Your Money” radio show airs on Sunday mornings. The program features Bruce Helmer and Peg Webb from the Wealth Enhancement Group who bring their unique perspectives and insights on a broad range of financial topics, from investments to estate planning.
Pictured left to right: Denny Long, WCCO-AM; Bruce Helmer and Peg Webb, Wealth Enhancement Group; Wendy Paulson, Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare; Ryan McKeown, Wealth Enhancement Group.
Posted On: 11/21/2013
On Monday evening, Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare illuminated a tree with 10,000 lights visible for miles in downtown St. Paul. The tree is a symbol of the hope our patients and families have, the expertise of our staff, and the generosity of our donors. The event attracted coverage from local TV stations KARE 11, WCCO and FOX 9. You can also donate and help us light Gillette's tree.
Posted On: 11/07/2013
Thursday, November 14 is Give to the Max Day, a 24-hour online fundraising event hosted by GiveMN.org. Thanks to a generous donor, every donation made to Gillette on Give to the Max Day will be matched – up to $10,000! Help us spread the word so we can maximize this matching gift to its highest amount.
Make a donation of $50 or more and we’ll display your name on our virtual tree of hope. The tree is a symbol from our new Moving Forward campaign, like the one in our TV spot featuring Ellie, a Gillette patient. We’ll send you a link to view your name on our tree the day after Give to the Max Day.
You can go to our GiveMN page now and pledge to make a gift. Your credit card won’t be charged until November 14 so that your donation can be matched. Just click on the “Make My Donation Count for Give to the Max Day” at the bottom of the form before clicking “donate now.”
Let others know that you support Gillette on Give to the Max Day by changing your Facebook profile or cover picture to one provided here. Simply click the image, save it on your computer, and upload it onto your Facebook page.
Whether you donate, tweet or post, your support will help make this year’s Give to the Max Day a successful one.
Posted On: 10/18/2013
Do you like to game? If the answer is yes, why not play your favorite games for charity? On November 2nd, 2013 participate in the Extra Life gaming event. This is the biggest gaming charity of the year to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (in Minnesota and western Wisconsin, that’s Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare)!
Here’s how it works. Ask your friends and family to sponsor you with a monthly pledge or a one-time gift and on November 2nd, sit back, relax, and game for the next 25 hours. This can be any type of game — mobile devices, consoles, even board games all count. You can game by yourself, or in a group. No matter how you choose to play, you’re making a difference in the lives of children who receive care at Gillette.
A big supporter of Extra Life is mobile video-gaming company Game Truck. Yesterday, the Minneapolis Game Truck visited Gillette to help recruit participants for this year’s Extra Life fundraiser. The truck opened its doors and welcomed all who were interested to game and learn more about the Extra Life event.
If you’re an avid gamer or just someone who enjoys playing video games, sign up and take the Extra Life challenge on November 2nd. To learn more visit, the Extra Life website.
Posted On: 07/01/2013
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