About This Campaign
The tale began with a mission to turn sadness into positivity. Our goal is to empower other children of all ages and abilities to make a difference through creativity and community. Be a part of our story…
Once upon a time, there were two girls, a kindergartner named Lanie and a 3rd grader named Scarlett. Lanie first met Scarlett outside of her gym class and felt an immediate connection to her. She asked her teacher if Scarlett could be her reading buddy. What Lanie didn’t know was that Scarlett was battling cancer. She was in a wheelchair and had lost her hair, but none of that made a difference to Lanie. She simply liked Scarlett and wanted to be her friend. Lanie’s teacher granted her wish and the two girls quickly bonded. Even as Scarlett's condition worsened, she loved to read to Lanie, and Lanie always loved when Scarlett read to her. Lanie didn't know that Scarlett was sick. This sweet friendship between kindergartner and reading buddy held a special place in both of their hearts.
On March 27, 2019, Scarlett passed away. Lanie's parents, Heather and Michael, were heartbroken and fraught with worry over how to tell Lanie what had happened.Michael suggested that perhaps charity work would help Lanie process the news.Heather thought that sounded like a great idea but wasn’t sure how to get Lanie involved at such a young age. She also wasn’t sure how to tell her that Scarlett had lost her cancer fight.
Heather went to the local bookstore, Scattered Books in Chappaqua, NY, on the hunt for a children’s book about death. While speaking to the owner, Laura, and other employees, Heather had an idea: what if Lanie made bookmarks with friends and sold them at the store to raise money for sick children? Laura took it a step further and offered to host a bookmark-making event at the store. She also offered to donate all of the supplies! Together, Lanie, Laura and Heather brainstormed and came up with the name, Bookmark Buddies. Lanie was so excited to start raising money that she asked if she could have her event the very next day. Laura magically said yes!
The inaugural Bookmark Buddies event was a success, raising $300 and - more importantly - giving Scarlett's friends and children in the community a fun and creative project to help other children while honoring their dear friend. It is Lanie and her family’s dream to turn Bookmark Buddies into a fundraising organization, so that all children can feel empowered at any age to help others. This story is just the beginning!
Thank you for your support!
Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley gives families with critically ill and traumatically injured children the gift of togetherness and keeps them close to the care and resources they need. The House has 12 bedrooms that are filled to capacity every night; meals, laundry and respite services are provided for the families. Located on the campus of the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, NY, the House is just steps away from the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. Since it opened in 2011, more than 1,800 families have stayed at the Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley.