Coming Home to Kesem

Just as spring started to wind down, Kesem’s event season began. We hosted two Magic Ball galas (our first in-person national events in two years!) in Boston and Chicago. We’re overcome with gratitude at both the fundraising success of these two events and the reminder of how powerful and positive our community is always, especially when we are together. 

The theme of our Magic Ball events this year is “There’s No Place Like Home.” With Camp Kesem returning this summer for the first time since 2019, we felt it was time to get back to our roots and to go back home. Our CEO, Alicia Kabir, described this sentiment during her event remarks: “When we spoke with families about this upcoming summer, they didn’t say that their kids were ready to return to camp. They said their kids were ready to come ‘home’ to Kesem. You see, for the kids we serve, Kesem is home. Camp is home.”

With that in mind, our goal was to recreate that exact feeling as members of our community gathered in Boston and Chicago. Attendees created their own Kesem name, tied on a friendship bracelet gifted by our volunteer student leaders, and listened to a special story about one of Kesem’s families, the Harrises.

Jay and Kari Harris, joined by their children James and Katie, generously  shared their Kesem journey while navigating Kari’s cancer diagnosis. The Harris family has been involved with the Northwestern Kesem chapter for ten years. “There is no family out there impacted by cancer who hasn’t felt the love, the safety, and the comfort of their home threatened by fear, uncertainty, and hardship. Camp Kesem gave James and Katie a safe place to be kids during some of the most challenging times of their lives,” Jay reflected. We’re so grateful for the Harris family’s vulnerability in sharing their story—and know that their words will inspire and comfort many within our Kesem community.

The Magic Ball ended with an opportunity for guests to further Kesem’s mission by making a donation. We were overwhelmed with the generosity and eagerness of our community to take care of the families impacted by a parent’s cancer. With thanks to all of our supporters, more children get to come home to Kesem this summer. Kesem events are always a great reminder that the comfort and reliability of Kesem magic are everlasting. Kesem will always be home to the amazing community we serve. 

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