You may know Triumph Over Kid Cancer (TOKC) as the Corpus Christi-based non-profit inspired by the life of James Ragan that has raised over $3 million for pediatric cancer research.
Diagnosed with cancer at 13, James celebrated his 14th birthday with a Toga party at which guests were invited to donate money instead of buying presents. He raised 40,000 dollars that day, which began his efforts to fund innovative new treatments for childhood cancers, which hardly receive any government or pharmaceutical industry funding at all. That began the work of Triumph Over Kid Cancer.
Sadly, we lost James in 2014 at age 20, but other passionate supporters of the cause have carried on his work. One of organization’s leading benefactors has been Gloria Hicks, owner with her husband of Ed Hicks Family of Dealerships, Corpus Christi’s home for Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Infiniti.
Gloria Hicks got to know James even before his diagnosis in 2006 when her son Charlie became his golfing buddy. Since TOKC began, Gloria has given her heart, her time and her treasure to support its critical work.
Here are just a few of Gloria Hicks’ contributions.
1. The Mercedes Benz Golf Tournament
A major fundraiser annually for Triumph Over Kid Cancer, the golf tournament is also a place at which TOKC is given the opportunity to reach out to those who might not know about its efforts in the field of pediatric cancer research. Gloria Hicks has designated Triumph Over Kid Cancer the official beneficiary of the event every year.
2. New Dealerships, New Platform
The Ed Hicks Family of Dealerships has invited TOKC volunteers to the opening of every new dealership, allowing them to expand awareness and support for James’s vision. When a prominent family business gets behind a cause the way Gloria Hicks and her family does, it attracts many of the community’s leading citizens.
3. Engaging Her Connections
Gloria Hicks served as an irreplaceable volunteer at fundraiser auctions. She leveraged her deep connections in the community to convince area businesses and individuals to donate incredible auction items. Much of the success of those auctions, which have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for pediatric cancer research, is attributable to Gloria’s tireless work, dedication and talent for motivating people.
4. Offering a Mercedes-Benz
In order to drive participation in our annual James A. Ragan Triumph Scramble golf tournament, Gloria Hicks’s company donates a hole-in-one prize package, including a Mercedes-Benz automobile, for any golfer who makes a hole-in-one during the tournament. This generous contribution is responsible for recruiting players in the sold-out event. In addition, Gloria’s personal support has inspired others to support the tournament.
“To say Mrs. Hicks is a generous and selfless woman doesn’t do her justice. She is a true champion for children with cancer,” says Mecklin Ragan, co-founder of TOKC and the sister of James Ragan. “Her efforts to help TOKC achieve our goal of bringing about an end to a world where children have to face the horrors of pediatric cancer is immeasurable.”
Thanks to the generous commitment of people like Gloria Hicks, Triumph Over Kid Cancer was able to launch The Children’s Sarcoma Initiative with M.D. Anderson in 2010 to fund novel cancer treatment ideas, and The Genomic Research and Sequencing Project for Pediatrics with M.D.Anderson in 2014. Currently they are funding a phase II drug trial, and have also pledged to raise $1 million for the Childhood Cancer Cell Therapy project at Texas Children’s Hospital.
You can help Triumph Over Kid Cancer win the war against childhood cancers and save the lives of millions of children alive today and those yet to be born. Visit TriumphOverKidCancer.org for more information or to make a donation.
723 Coleman Avenue
Corpus Christi, Texas 78401
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