News


March Madness at Black Forest Brewery

It really was madness at Black Forest Brewery, LLC . . True Tavern Ales this spring! Thanks to the BFB staff and patrons, $1525 was raised for AWA through their March Madness campaign! We had a blast getting to know our new friends at BFB...definitely stop by and enjoy their great food, drinks and atmosphere!


Love Where You Live!

LCBC_Gathering

What a night! We spent an evening with LCBC Church at Liberty Place for their "Love Where You Live" event and attendees raised $1,781 for AWA in just 2.5 hours! We were honored to be the community nonprofit highlighted and had the pleasure to meet so many great people. Thank you for inviting us to take part in such a fun night out!


A Big Thank You To Subaru!

We're really "Feelin the Love" from Lancaster County Motors Subaru's #ShareTheLove! 2016 was the first year LCM teamed up with A Week Away for "Share the Love," a charitable program where Subaru of America donates up to $250 to the designated Hometown Charity -- A Week Away -- or one of four national charities -- ASPCA, Make-A-Wish, Meals on Wheels Association of America and National Park Foundation -- for each new Subaru sold between Nov. 17, 2016 and Jan. 3, 2017. When all was said and done, LCM and their Subaru owners donated $16,533 to AWA!

We continue to be humbled by the generosity and support of our local community.


Our 50th Family!

On the last week of March 2017, our Board of Directors approved the 50th family to receive a respite. 50 families! We are still a little stunned by that number considering we are just about to reach our 3 year mark of being a non profit organization. Having the opportunity to provide a time of relaxation and enjoyment for those battling a life threatening illness is only made possible by our absolutely amazing donors who continue to support us and spread our message to others. We also are blessed with a tremendous group of volunteers who dedicate many hours to our mission and have fun doing it!

For all of you who have made this possible, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We knew the only location to make this announcement to our crew was at Tig Caleb at Tellus360Caleb Walker, our founder, was only with us long enough to see our first family head off on their respite but he has been with us for every family we have assisted along the way. We keep his plan and spirit moving forward every day and we are all ready for the next 50!

50th_family_celebration

A Week Away takes People's Choice award in the Lititz Fire and Ice Cook Off

WE DID IT AGAIN! 2017 Lititz Fire & Ice Festival Chili Cook Off People's Choice CHAMPS! A huge thank you to Chef Meghan J. Young from Characters Pub! Head over to the restaurant to see what was named best chili two years in a row!


The First Annual Caleb Walker Memorial Wrestling TOURNAMENT

You'll remember at the beginning of the year, the First Annual Caleb Walker Memorial Wrestling Tournament was held at L-S. Lynn Walker and Keith Walker were on hand at the L-S/Manheim Central match last night to accept a donation to AWA from the Lampeter-Strasburg School District's Wrestling Booster Club for $1,000. Thank you to all of the teams who contributed to raising money for our mission and to Coach Kevin Franklin and L-S Wrestling Booster Club President Christa Stoll Feister for their continued support. We'd also like to thank the Manheim Central Wrestling team and their fans for their kindness (and flowers for Lynn)!


Light the Tree

Light_the_tree_kids_pic

One of the most important opportunities we have as an organization is sharing what we do with others. It is an honor to discuss our history, mission, impact AWA makes on families battling a life threatening illness and how we all have the ability to help make a difference. During our "Light the Tree" campaign this past November and December, AWA had the privilege to work with students from the Columbia Borough School DistrictEphrata High SchoolLampeter-Strasburg School District and Millersville University. All of these students came together to help us raise awareness and over $18,500 in just one month during our final fundraising campaign of 2016. Most importantly, these students learned lessons of compassion, community and the spirit of volunteerism.

We are so grateful for the support that we receive from this community and HOPE that the impact that we have made on these students empowers them to do great things.

We are so blessed!


Hartz Physical Therapy - 2016 Fall Blast 5K

In the Spring of 2016, Hartz Physical Therapy sent out a call to local non profit organizations to be considered the beneficiary of their 2016 Fall Blast 5K, an annual Hartz PT event that has raised approximately $140,000 for local non profits over the past 12 years.  Almost 90 organizations submitted an application and AWA was honored to have been selected!  This year's run/walk took place on Saturday, October 1 at Bonfield Elementary School in Lititz, with 100% of the registration fees going directly to AWA.  Once all of the numbers were tallied, the entire Hartz PT staff presented AWA with a check for $14,000 (the second highest amount raised in event history)!  We continue to be humbled by the generosity of our local community and organizations who believe in and support the mission of AWA.  

THANK YOU HARTZ PHYSICAL THERAPY!


PUTTING THE "FUN" IN FUNDRAISING AT CHARACTERS PUB

For the second year in a row, A Week Away had the pleasure of hosting a Celebrity Bartending Night at Characters Pub, the "celebrities" being three AWA staffers -- Joe (our Prez), Megan (our Respite Committee chair), and Mason (board member) -- who helped Characters earn tips on AWA's behalf for the night by slinging cocktails specially developed for us the restaurant's talented bartenders.

In a Facebook photo album post describing the October 2016 event, Chef Meghan Young said:

October Celebrity Bartending Night at Characters Pub had such an electric energy thanks to so many faithful fans who come out to support the Celebrity Bartenders who were mixing and stirring for the amazing mission of A Week Away. They kept Mason, Megan and Joe running all night as the tip jars kept growing. All in the cause of helping to provide a week of peace to families who are battling life-threatening illness. Because of their efforts they were able to raise $2752.00 in just 3 hours! Thank you to everyone who came out tonight to #RaiseAGlass and #DoSomeGood once again. – Meghan Young

We are so thrilled to have broken the all-time record for the Celebrity Bartending Series at one of our favorite restaurants in town -- which also happens to be one of our biggest local business supporters. See you at chili cook-off time, Meghan!

The gang was all there!

cooper's big heart

THEY DID IT!  In early May 2016, 5 year old Cooper and his dad Andy Burke began a fundraising campaign to raise respite funds in honor of their friend Emily (follow her story on Facebook at Emily's Smiles).  Cooper wanted to shave his head and go "balt" to show his support for Emily and other people battling cancer.  Their initial goal was $1,000.  Thanks to the support of so many people from all over the country, we are proud to announce that the final funds raised in just one month totaled...$5,000!

The higher the totals climbed, the more the stakes were raised.  Once $2,000 was raised, Andy agreed to shave his head.  And once it hit $3,000 Andy's dad in Arizona agreed to get in on the fun, too!

While we are so appreciative of everyone for supporting Cooper and his fundraising challenge, we are also happy to announce Emily recently received some great news from her physicians and we were able to schedule their respite to Ocean City, Maryland for this August!  Emily's mom Meghan says everyone is very, very excited for the beach this summer!

The Lititz Record Express did two great stories on Cooper and Emily.  You can find them here and here.


darrenkamp's markets support awa

A big thank you goes out to everyone who stopped by Darrenkamp's Markets at Willow Valley on June 3, 2016 to enjoy some pork bbq and support AWA!

Throughout the entire month of June, Darrenkamp's continued to accept donations to AWA at the check-out lines of each of their 4 locations.  Plus, they sold a special edition of AWA t-shirts at the customer service counters.

We're so humbled to work with such a generous family-owned company!


identicard supports awa

On May 27, 2016, the fine folks of IDenticard Systems, located on Race Avenue just outside of downtown Lancaster, presented us with an eye-popping $5,000 donation, coinciding with their 6th annual Walk for Community!

We are so grateful for such a generous contribution from an outstanding local business.  We were honored to meet many of IDenticard's caring employees, especially while they were serving us up some delicious kabobs!

Thank you again, IDenticard!


weeusables supports awa

chris@indrez.com

When Lori Hartmann-Borris contacted us in the beginning of 2016 to tell us that she and her team selected A Week Away as the beneficiary of WeeUsables Consignment Event's spring sales, we had no idea that we were in for such a wonderful experience.

The WeeUsables crew not only spread the word about AWA and our mission at their events, they gave us the best gift of all:  a referral.  We recently received a respite application from a family in need who learned about AWA at the Lancaster sale.

WeeUsables presented us with a check in May 2016 for $6,831.04 -- enough money to send two additional families on respites this year.

We are able to do what we do because of the support of the Lancaster community -- our partnership with WeeUsables is the perfect example of the amazing relationships we continue to build with local businesses who want to give back.


awa receives prestigious score award

We are honored to announce that A Week Away is the proud recipient of a 2016 Small Business Award from SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon!

This local chapter of the national organization is dedicated to the formation, growth, and success of small business in the region.

Here's what SCORE had to say about AWA in a press release announcing this year's award winners:

"Nearing its second year, A Week Away coordinates and finances respite weeks for families who are battling a life-threatening illness.  The purpose of the respites is to provide those families with the hope and resilience they need to continue their fight.  SCORE worked closely with the organization's founder, the late Caleb Walker, during the creation and initial set-up of A Week Away.  Today, the organization is growing rapidly as dedicated and committed volunteers work tirelessly to keep Caleb's mission and vision alive.  SCORE is their on-call resource whenever they need guidance with a particular issue or question."

We are incredibly grateful to SCORE for their continued support -- we would not be where we are today without them.  Thank you, SCORE!


Fire & Iron Station #139's annual beef & beer Fest

We can't express enough how grateful we are for the continued support of Fire & Iron Motorcycle Club Station #139 (located in Bucks County).

We had a BLAST at Beef & Beer in May 2016, having fun and fundraising for AWA.  To Kenny Bowman, Warren Breece, and the rest of the crew, thank you for being such wonderful hosts.  It was an honor to meet each of you! Thank you again for being part of our family.


bike towards the cure 2016

Thank you so much to all who supported this year's Bike Toward's the Cure 4th Annual Ride -- whether you rode in, volunteered for, or sponsored this event, you helped make a difference in the lives of seriously ill patients by contributing to A Week Away!

Once again, we are grateful to Bike Towards the Cure for generously designating AWA as a benefactor of their amazing annual ride.

Here's to bikes, hope, and the tents that kept us dry!


2nd annual benefit concert at tellus360

Our 2nd Annual AWA Benefit Concert at Tellus360 was another hit, raising $5,500 this past March!  We couldn't have done it without the amazing support from the whole crew at Tellus360, as well as the Corty Byron Band, Leo Disanto and Limbo Jimbo, who donated their time and musical talents to the crowd.  We look forward to another great event next year! 


A Week Away takes People's Choice award in 11th annual Chili Cook-Off in Lititz

We came, we saw, we conquered. In our first year competing at the Lititz Fire and Ice Chili Cook-off, A Week Away won the prestigious People's Choice award! Our chili was generously prepared by Meghan Young and her amazing staff at Character's Pub. Read the full story here.


Lampeter-Strasburg Wrestling community raises $2222 for AWA!

The LS wrestling community honored Caleb, our founder and former LS Wrestler, by raising funds to support our mission. The full story can be found here.


COLUMBIA STUDENTS RAISE FUNDS FOR #LIGHTTHETREE CAMPAIGN

Kim Kline, a 2nd grade teacher in the Columbia Borough School District, makes a point each year of engaging the kids in her class to complete a community-building project.
This year Kim chose to introduce her students to A Week Away. Over a two-week time period, Kim donated $1 to our ‪#‎LightTheTree‬ campaign for every piece of "A" graded work -- and, the student recipient received an ornament to hang on the classroom's (paper) tree.
At the end of the two weeks, Kim made her donation to #LightTheTree which totaled $94.00! That's 94 A's! The project encouraged her kids to do their best every day to see what it takes to make a difference. Kim also linked the project to her social studies unit on community building, with a goal of teaching students they can make a difference in spite of their barriers, even if it is only a few dollars.
Thank you, Kim and crew, for lighting up our hearts with your project!


#Lightthetree

A Week Away was featured on CBS 21 News during our #LightTheTree kickoff event on 11/27. Thank you to the Smith family for sharing their story with CBS. We were so thankful that we were able to have 4 AWA families share in the fun that night! 


Spooky nook

A Week Away was recently featured in the Spooky Nook's quarterly publication. Spooky Nook has been a huge supporter of A Week Away and our families and we are truly grateful for all they've done. As you know, we have brought several families to Lancaster for their respite weeks. Each time, our friends at the Nook have donated their resources to make sure that our families have the best time possible. You can read the full article here. 

Thank you Spooky Nook for all of your support!


Our supporters raised $2,400 for AWA at our Characters Pub Celebrity Bartending Night on 10/14! To add to the excitement, that sets the new record for funds raised in the Celebrity Bartending series!

Thank you to everyone who came out to enjoy all the food and drinks Characters has to offer while helping to support our mission -- Joe, Mason, and Lauren had a fun time serving you, and we hope you enjoyed their signature cocktails! And of course, thank you to the wonderful staff at Characters for providing us with this opportunity.


Caleb Walker Memorial Golf Tournament To Benefit A Week Away a HUGE success

When drafting this post today, a thought occurred: we're always writing "thank you" messages to our audience.

That's an incredibly fortunate situation to be in.

We're adding yet another post to that list, because we've wrapped up the 2015 Caleb Walker Memorial Golf Tournament and have a number to announce:

The tournament raised for A Week Away an astonishing $75,000.

$75,000: an amount that will allow us to grant respites to approximately 15 more families (!!) over the coming year.

An amount that humbles us and deepens even further our love and appreciation for our community of supporters.

The day featured moments both joyful and solemn: we laughed when the winners of the Pub Cup (congrats again, Team Tellus360!) eagerly accepted their trophy, and our hearts both ached and swelled when Paul Lynch -- the Lynches are an AWA family; 5-year-old Olivia lives with brain cancer -- spoke about the family’s week spent in Stone Harbor, and about the feeling of normalcy that they were able to experience amid one of the most trying years of their lives.

We are simply reaching out to say thank you to every single person involved in the 2015 Caleb Walker Memorial Golf Tournament. Because of you, we are in the position to be able to provide hope and peace to so many patients and families to come.

Thank you.


AWA HIGHLIGHTED IN LANCASTER NEWSPAPER

Today the Lancaster newspaper published a wonderful article about the progress A Week Away has made since our founding last spring. The story also highlights the Yabut family, who care to Lancaster for their respite in August 2015.


AWA Receives Local Award

A Week Away was recently awarded the Lancaster City & County Medical Society's Benjamin Rush Award. This award recognizes outstanding contributions to the health and welfare of the people of Lancaster County. Accepting the award on behalf of the organization were AWA President and Vice President Joe Fittipaldi and Marie McCune. Thank you LCMS for this honor!


#BearStrong Night at the Lancaster Barnstormers

 

The inspiring story of Collin "Bear" Shank touched the hearts of everyone in Lancaster County.  A fantastic, multi-talented young man who plays QB for the L-S football team and starting centerfielder for the L-S baseball team, Collin was experiencing severe headaches and nausea when doctors discovered a tumor in his brain. 

Surgeons at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia removed the tumor, but now Collin faces the challenging road to recovery -- and his family faces medical bills and the desire to help others facing similar situations.

As a result, the Manor Pride Gridiron Club dubbed Saturday, 6/13 #BearStrong Night at Clipper Magazine Stadium, and shared the proceeds with AWA.  We were honored to take part in this amazing evening.  Our friend Shawn was even able to hand the ball off to Bear for the first pitch!

 


Local Motorcycle Club hosts benefit for AWA

The Battlegrounds Victory Riders Motorcycle Club hosted a covered bridge ride on 6/6 to raise funds for AWA and the event couldn't have been a bigger success!  The weather was beautiful and the bridges were charming -- as were all the bikers who turned out to support AWA! 


AWA at Fig Launch Party!

Being named a Fig Social Mission Partner for 2015 definitely has its perks!  The launch party for Fig's Spring 2015 Issue was held on 5/28 at Clipper Magazine Stadium in Lancaster.  Team AWA was well represented and had a great time previewing the new magazine, sampling food from some amazing local restaurants and networking with our local friends and businesses!


Bucks County Organization Hosts AWA Benefit

The Fire & Iron Bucks County Station 139 hosted a Beef and Beer Night to benefit AWA on 5/23 at the William Penn Fire Company.  A member of Fire and Iron had been in our area and saw the AWA banner hanging in downtown Lancaster.  He researched what our organization is all about and the rest is history!  We were so grateful to receive their call and this event was a great opportunity to tell those from the Philadelphia area more about who we are and what we are all about.  Kenny Bowman and his crew did an amazing job with the food and entertainment and it was a great night!


On Orange Benefit Night

Our friends at On Orange were so kind to host a prix fixe dinner to benefit AWA on 5/6.  The menu created by Melissa Watro and her staff was incredible and they were generous to donate 25% of the evening's proceeds to AWA!  We are so grateful to Melissa and the staff at On Orange for providing a wonderful, delicious experience for our supporters.


AWA Teams with Bike Towards the Cure!

On May 3, nearly 200 participants gathered for a bike ride at Speedwell Forge in Lititz.  Proceeds benefited A Week Away and the LG Health Cancer Patient Support Fund.  The AWA crew had been working with Dr. Phillip Bayliss and his organizers for months and we were all rewarded with a gorgeous day, a full field of riders and a fun day to work together raising funds for two great causes!


AWA Representative Makes Breaks a World Record for a Great Cause!

We are immensely proud of AWA Representative Ben Banker for his outstanding dedication to organ transplant patients.  He is the definition of someone who pays it forward.  Way to go Ben and the Nigh Razors!

Read the full story here!

 


AWA Goes Irish!

Even the chilly temperatures and a late night at the AWA Benefit Concert at Tellus 360 the night before couldn’t keep the AWA team from celebrating St. Patrick’s Day!  AWA joined other local charities to help pour beverages for the hundreds of people that came out to participate in the 2nd Annual King Street Seisiun (“session” in Irish).  Our friends at Annie Bailey’s and Tellus 360 sure know how to throw a great block party! 


AWA Benefit concert at tellus360

We are so fortunate to have talented musicians and great venues in Lancaster so we thought, let’s organize a concert!  A night filled with the best music Lancaster has to offer, a one of a kind venue and so many AWA supporters, we couldn’t be happier with the way things turned out.  Special thanks goes to Tellus360 for donating the event space, and of course to the bands.  Thank you, Bells, Meg and the Right Sound, Mike McMonagle, Saint Sycamore, The Seperators, Seth Walker, Leah Weigel, The Youngers, and Younger Me for graciously donating your time and talent to our cause.