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‘Elves for Catie’ campaign bolsters effort for CURE

POSTED: January 5, 2012 6:00 p.m.
Photo by Pat Donahue/

Brooke Graham, president of the Effingham Chamber of Commerce, presents a check for $3,662 to CURE and David and Renee Smith on behalf of the Elves for Catie campaign. The ongoing campaign was started in honor of the late Catie Wilkins, whose parents Tré and Jenny Wilkins are on the right.

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With a check for more than $3,600, the Elves for Catie campaign is making an impact on childhood cancer.

Tré and Jenny Wilkins, whose late daughter Catie was the inspiration for the Elves for Catie initiative, and Effingham Chamber of Commerce President Brooke Graham presented a check for $3,662 to CURE on Tuesday evening. The proceeds were raised through sales and donations of toy elves, which were a favorite of young Catie’s.

“It’s a way to keep her spirit going,” said Tré Wilkins, Catie’s father.

Catie Wilkins was diagnosed with a brain tumor, known as a medulloblastoma, in September 2003 when she was just 1. She had 11 surgeries, three years of chemotherapy and 30 radiation treatments. She died in January 2007.

“The ultimate goal is for there to be a cure found,” Tré Wilkins said. “The $3,600, that’ll be the most rewarding thing.”

Several Effingham businesses took part in sponsoring Elves for Catie and for $15 an elf, $5 goes to a child suffering from cancer and another $5 is donated to CURE Childhood Cancer.

“Every year, it just grows and grows and grows,” Tré Wilkins said of Elves for Catie. “We kind of kid ourselves that the goal is to be on the ‘Today’ show just before Christmas. If that happens, it would be really, really big.”


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