Backyard Bash Raises Spirits, Funds

By J1 Reporter Emma Roth

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Seniors at Marian pose with ‘LOLO’ balloons at Lolo’s Angels Backyard Bash on October 7. Photo courtesy of Audrey Lane.

It was not only a day filled with fun and friends, but Oct. 7 raised awareness and money for an extremely significant cause: pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia. The Omaha-based nonprofit Lolo’s Angels put on an elaborate backyard party for adults and teens alike to promote their goal of funding research for this childhood leukemia.

“The atmosphere was so welcoming and it was cool to know everyone was there to support a good cause. Even if people didn’t know each other, they became friends by the end of the night,” sophomore Cece Kolterman said when describing the party.

Leslee Hacker founded Lolo’s Angels after her daughter, Lauren (Lolo), relapsed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). “When Lo was released from the hospital the first time, all we wanted to do was celebrate. We put together a backyard party within two days that hosted more than 150 people. The second time she was released, people were asking for another party. Friends who attended the first party said they were willing to pay an entry fee, something to raise funds while having a party-like environment,” Hacker said.

With the help of a Senior Board and Junior Board, the party planning began. Meetings were held, decorations were made, and t-shirts were designed sporting the organization’s logo, a girl in a winter hat making a snow angel.

The Senior Board is made up of 16 adults; family friends and willing people who collaborate to make events like this possible. The ticket for an adult to enter the party was $30, a small price to pay for dinner, socializing, and supporting a worthy cause.

The Junior Board includes 20 students from four surrounding high schools. They planned and executed the teen portion of the night. Their night included sugary snacks and a lively DJ. Photo ops were held with the large helium letter balloons that spelled out ‘LOLO’. Teen tickets were $20, with all proceeds from both age groups going straight to AML research.

“Even if people didn’t know each other, they became friends by the end of the night. People were there to have fun and it was cool to know everyone was willing to support a great cause,” said Marin Waters, Junior Board member and sophomore at Marian.

The night was successful in raising around $15,000 from generous partygoers who were willing to donate, along with sales from shirts and tickets. Pictures from the party were plastered over Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, all using the hashtag #golologo in awareness of Lolo’s Angels.

“Doing fun things with a great purpose brings people together in amazing ways.”

– Mrs. Leslee Hacker

See related story by Network staff…Lolo’s Angels paves way for AML research

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