NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — In honor of September being Pediatric Awareness Month, Hope Rises is helping WNY light up gold.

Not only was Niagara Falls lit up gold earlier this month and Buffalo’s City Hall will light up gold next week, they’re also raising money for organizations that help children battling cancer.

“So many people are stepping up, so many champions that are really wanting to do their part in shining for for these kids,” said Hope Rises founder, Kate Glaser. “I think so many people are passionate about this because cancer is not as rare as people think it is.”

According to Glaser, cancer is the number one killer of children among disease in the nation, and every day dozens of kids are diagnosed.

“A lot of people can really not just relate, but they can understand what cancer families go through,” said Glaser, whose sister was diagnosed with cancer at 3-years-old. “Putting a pediatric cancer diagnosis on top of just a cancer diagnosis, have a child fight for their lives, people are so passionate about that and it’s been so amazing to see how many people want to support the Shine Gold effort.”

To help increase awareness towards pediatric cancer, 54 businesses and organizations are helping add gold to the pot.

“I don’t think pediatric cancer gets enough awareness sometimes,” said Kyle Evans, the Co-Founder of the Lemke Team at Hunt Real Estate. “It just gives us an opportunity to really give back and help raise awareness and hopefully help as many kids as we can.”

For the month of September, their team will donate $200 towards every transaction, and they expect to sell over seven houses this month. They are also selling tickets for a $250 amazon gift card drawing.

“Our business is highly relevant on Western New Yorkers and giving back to the community gives up more purpose and reason to do what we’re doing,” said Evans. “So we’re glad to be able to help.”

14 days into the month, the Shine Gold efforts have raised more than $48,000 to go towards Andre the Warrior, Olivia’s Bears, Hope Totes Buffalo, and P.U.N.T., and they hope those numbers will to continue to grow.

“It really is an awareness campaign that pediatric cancer is in September but it’s also raising money for really great organizations that are boots on the ground in our community, doing so many good things for families that are dealing with pediatric cancer,” said Glaser.

Hope Rises has connected 120 families that are fighting cancer throughout Western New York, together. Including 10-year-old, Keeley Noworyta’s family. Keeley was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in March of 2021.

“We got so much love and support when Keeley was going through her journey, that everything we can do to give back and bring awareness to pediatric cancer, we’re jumping in to do everything we can,” said Laura Noworyta, Keeley’s mother.

Before her daughter was diagnosed, Laura says she didn’t understand the full effect of what pediatric cancer entails, and she believes more awareness will help other families going through the journey.

“Going through treatments and meeting more families and seeing more organizations trying to bring awareness, I think it’s amazing,” said Noworyta. “People don’t know the signs of pediatric cancer, what could be done-there are families that are struggling to find answers so everything, every ounce of awareness we bring it’s just going to help anyone further.”

Keeley is now one year into remission, and plans to wear a sparkly gold dress to the Shine Gold for the Kids Fireworks Event, on Tuesday Sept. 20th. The event is almost sold out, but for more information, or to donate, you can head to their website here.

To find out more information regarding the four organizations who help children with Pediatric Cancer, you can visit their websites here: Andre the Warrior, Olivia’s Bears, Hope Totes Buffalo, and P.U.N.T.

To contact the Lemke Team to donate towards their fundraising or for more information about their team, contact Kyle Evans at 716-445-8169.