Glen Oaks Community College News Article (generic - no featured image)

Fundraiser to assist treatment for special child

The Business Department and the Student Government organization at Glen Oaks Community College are sponsoring a program called “Cans and Coins for Kohen” throughout March and April. Dr. Lester Keith, a GOCC Business Professor, said the fund drive is in support of two-year-old Kohen Koch and his family. Kohen was born with Downs Syndrome and has been diagnosed with Lymphocytic Leukemia.

Professor Keith said the fundraiser challenges individuals and groups to earn points in a soft drink can and bottle contest: “One point is awarded to each group for either a Michigan returnable can (or bottle) or per each 10 cents. The challenge winners will accumulate the most points within the time period allotted. The winning group will receive T-shirts for each member (designed by Kohen’s sister Karissa) for this event and either a sub party or a pizza party of the winning group’s choice. Also assisting Dr. Keith are Bill Furr, business professor, and Ben Meyers, Student Government president.

The Kohen family lives in Sioux City, Iowa. They have two other healthy children. The family and their friends established a non-profit 501c3 organization known as Buddies for Life to help offset the high costs of treatment for the family and assist families with Down Syndrome children. Kohen will need chemotherapy and other treatment through at least 2011. Over 550 people recently rallied to the Kohen’s cause with a fitness walk and businesses and organizations are also assisting.

Buddies for Life is creating Celebration Packets for families in the hospital awaiting a Down Syndrome diagnosis; providing a lending library; and opening a GiGi’s Playhouse, which comes from a 4-year-old Chicago girl with Down Syndrome whose family saw the need to open a gathering place designed specifically for children and adults with Down Syndrome.

For more information or to provide your support, contact Dr. Lester Keith of the Business Department at Glen Oaks Community College, (269) 467-9945 Ext. 206 or (888) 994-7818 toll free.