Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

December 12, 2012

Celebration of humanity


THE ISSUE: The iroK Foundation fundraiser Saturday.

OUR VIEW: By some cupcakes. Make a donation. Help the Maconaquah freshman help families of children at Carmel’s Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health North and the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital hematology and oncology clinics.

Eleven million TV viewers watched the season premiere of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” two years ago. So quite a few Americans got a glimpse of the giving nature of the people of the Kokomo area in January 2010.

At 8 p.m. on a Sunday evening, “Extreme Makeover” broadcast the construction of the Cowan-Brown family home. Hundreds of volunteers, led by Anderson-based Hallmark Homes, spent almost a week working shifts upward of 20 hours to finish the house on schedule for the Miami County family. Some slept in mud between shifts.

Around here, people sometimes need the help of others. Sometimes, people are in a position to offer it.

Beginning at age 6, Kori Brown – one of Andy and Heather Cowan’s four children – needed help. She was diagnosed with a blood disorder affecting her immune system. While at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, she befriended Alyssa Lewandowski of Noblesville. Alyssa was receiving treatment for leukemia.

Kori began raising money to help her friend. She started “Kori’s Cards for a Cure” in 2006, and got children to make greeting cards to sell for the American Cancer Society. She helped auction items for her Relay for Life team in 2007.

Today, the Maconaquah freshman runs the iroK Foundation. It helps families of children who are patients at Carmel’s Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health North and the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital hematology and oncology clinics with expenses related to their illnesses that are not covered by insurance.

To date, iroK has helped 22 Indiana families.

On Saturday, iroK will host its second “iroK the Holidays” fundraiser at Celebrations Banquet Hall, 3437 W. Sycamore Road. Judging for the first “iroK Cupcake War” will be at noon Saturday, and there will be cupcakes for sale. A silent auction will be at 1 p.m., and Barker’s B&K hot dogs will be available for lunch.

There is still room for cupcake makers and vendors for Saturday’s iroK event, so contact Kori’s mom, Heather, at cowanmheather@aol.com for forms or with questions.

If your family is looking for something to do Saturday, consider stopping by the iroK fundraiser at Celebrations. Buy some cupcakes. Make a donation.

Celebrate the humanity of our community with Kori Brown.