Mother celebrates the life of her late son by organizing her own cancer fundraising event

The Todd J. Schwartz Softball Classic is held every year in honor of Todd Schwartz, who passed away from cancer at the age of nineteen.
The Todd J. Schwartz Softball Classic is held every year in honor of Todd Schwartz, who passed away from cancer at the age of nineteen.

Dana-Farber patient Todd J. Schwartz was a 19-year-old who was passionate about helping the children at Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic. He was known for his ability to make them smile, laugh, and even forget why they were there for a brief moment.

“All Todd could talk about was helping the other kids around him that were ill, he never talked about himself. He was so mature about how he wanted to support the younger kids who weren’t exactly sure about the truth of what the illness was about. I was just in awe about how unselfish he was,” wrote an anonymous friend on a website dedicated to Todd.

In 2002, Todd lost his battle with cancer, but his family and friends celebrate Todd’s life each year by organizing their own cancer fundraising event. To date, the Todd J. Schwartz Softball Classic, hosted by Todd’s mother Janet Schwartz, has raised $465,264 to benefit the Jimmy Fund Pediatric Activity Program Fund at the Jimmy Fund Clinic.

Janet, who has no previous event planning experience, has been overwhelmed by the support of her community. “To see four-hundred people is fantastic: gathering to have fun and do some important work.”

With the support of her community and the Jimmy Fund Special Events team, Janet is already looking forward to next year’s event. Her advice to those interested in creating their own fundraising event is to “Remember that whatever you raise is more than the Jimmy Fund had yesterday.”

Developing and managing your own event to benefit the Jimmy Fund can feel challenging , but with the help of the Fun Ways to Fundraise guide and the Jimmy Fund staff, families and individuals find ways to create fun events that honor those who fight cancer each and every day. For more great ways to support cancer research check out our Fun Ways to Fundraise guide.

Tell us about your creative ideas with a comment below!