Cannonball Kids’ cancer Foundation wins Victory Cup

Debra Brett, Melissa Wiggins and Mieke Rich of Cannonball Kids cancer Foundation accepting the $20,000 award.

Victory Cup Initiative held its annual breakfast event February 7. The event consisted of companies coming together and giving Central Florida charitable organizations the opportunity to tell their stories and build their strategies while competing for $45,000: The grand-prize winner would receive $20,000, and the second- and third-place winners would receive $15,000 and $10,000 respectively. All remaining organizations would be awarded a $1,000 participation grant. Winners were determined by audience participation.

Ten nonprofit organizations connected with business and community leaders while hoping to prove why theirs should receive the grand prize. Representatives of the organizations were given 2 minutes and 30 seconds to pitch who they are and how they are making a difference in the community.

The participants for the 2018 Victory cup initiative were IDignity, Ideas for Us, Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida, Hebni Nutrition Consultants Inc., Zebra Coalition, Elevate Orlando, Cannonball Kids’ cancer Foundation, Orlando Repertory Theatre, La Amistad Foundation Inc., and New Hope for Kids.

All organizations delivered inspirational pitches in hopes of swaying the philanthropic audience’s vote, but College Park’s Cannonball Kids’ cancer Foundation won the grand prize.

“I am very grateful I get to be a part of Cannonball Kids’ cancer Foundation and all the change they are making. All the finalists were incredible — I cried that we won as I wasn’t expecting that. I love our team! The warm-up is over and we are playing in the big leagues now. Watch out cancer — we are coming for you,” Melissa Wiggins, co-founder of Cannonball Kids’ cancer Foundation, said. The $20,000 will go directly into funding innovative, accessible research for children fighting cancer.

Wiggins began her two minutes by saying, “Every two minutes worldwide a parent hears that their child has cancer.” Wiggins then spoke about her personal experience with her son Cannon, her driving force for the creation of the foundation, who battled stage 4 cancer at just 20 months — and survived.

After Wiggins’ two-minute pitch was up, she ended on a daunting but motivational note that called for change: “My two minutes with you is over but another family’s nightmare has just begun.”Caption: Debra Brett, Melissa Wiggins and Mieke Rich of Cannonball Kids’ cancer Foundation accepting the $20,000 award.

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