Photos by Tony Powell, Dara Klatt and courtesy of Chance for Life
Former New England Patriots tight end Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski was joined on stage by tennis legend John McEnroe at the MGM Grand National Harbor, as surprise guests at the 15th annual Chance for Life fundraiser on February 22. The two rallied the crowd during the day portion of the 13-hour event, encouraging guests to open their wallets, buy back in and help fight childhood cancer. “What are we doing?” Gronk shouted after grabbing the mic. “Crushing cancer baby! That’s what we’re doing.” Later that evening, Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter Daya performed a four-song set, delighting 2,000 unsuspecting guests – yet another unique feature to CFL, where guests only learn of the talent on the night. The top applause of the night however was reserved for 20-year old Kennedy Snyder, the inspiration behind CFL.
Now a sophomore at the University of Southern California, Kennedy had a tumor removed from her spinal cord and underwent aggressive chemotherapy as a child. Each year she returns to CFL to share her appreciation and message of hope: “You’re giving kids like me the chance to grow up, the chance for life.” The evening continued featuring food from 30 of DC’s best chefs and restaurants while guests danced and mingled late into the night. Founders Brad and Callie Nierenberg, Event Chairman Tim Keating of Boeing, and this year’s host committee led CFL to its most successful year yet, with $2.8 million raised on the night for childhood cancer research. To date, CFL has raised a whopping $9.3 million.