Senator-Abrams Family Rallies Palisades Community to ‘Dribble for the Cure’
By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
A Palisadian family has committed more than 10 years to raising funds for the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation—and this year, it is rallying the community to support a virtual fundraising event.
The Senator-Abrams family has participated in a PCRF fundraising event since 2008 in memory of family member Jackson, who passed away during treatment for pediatric brain cancer at age 8.
Each year UCLA’s athletic department joins with PCRF and Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA for “Dribble for the Cure” in an effort to draw awareness and fundraise for pediatric cancer research.
“My son Jackson was treated at UCLA, we found out about this when my older son got in touch with Jackson’s doctors and asked them what would be a good way to help,” Elizabeth Abrams told the Palisadian-Post. “It was this perfect marriage for our family because Zachary and his brother shared a love of basketball and the Lakers and UCLA.”
Zachary made “Dribble for the Cure” his bar mitzvah project at Kehillat Israel in 2010 and formed Team Jackson with a group of friends and family from the Pacific Palisades community.
Participants are asked to bring their own basketballs and dribble their way throughout the UCLA campus, eventually ending up in Pauley Pavilion, where team and individual winners are announced.
In 2011, Team Jackson won the top fundraising prize, netting over $13,000. Team Jackson has raised over $200,000 for PCRF in the last 10 years.
“What’s really unique is all the money we’ve raised is from small donations,” Abrams said. “It’s our community coming together and supporting our family and it’s a great way to honor Jackson.”
Four years ago, as Zachary prepared to leave for college, he passed the baton on to his sister, Sarah Senator, a senior at Palisades Charter High School, who is now captain of Team Jackson.
Sarah, who dances with Fancy Feet and the Pali High Dance Team, has worked proactively and even gotten her peers involved. She shared that Fancy Feet chooses a charity to benefit each year for its spring Gift of Talent show and chose PCRF as one of its beneficiaries years ago. Pali High Dance has also performed at Pauley Pavilion at a past event.
This year’s event will be celebrated virtually due to COVID-19. Participants will be asked to compete in a virtual dribble, allowing participants from across the country to engage in a five-day activity challenge leading up to the official virtual ceremony Sunday, Oct. 11.
The PCRF Dribble App, compatible with devices and phones, tracks participant activity.
“It takes you on a course through the UCLA campus complete with unlockable milestones that include stories from UCLA coaches and players, our honorary captains—who are cancer warriors—and families like the Senators, who have dedicated so much to our mission,” said Jeri Wilson, executive director at PCRF. “The goal is that more people join the event this year and they can reach their fundraising goal of $175,000 because for the first time, this virtual event allows for all the fundraising dollars to go straight to pediatric cancer research. Every dollar makes a difference.”
“Dribble for the Cure” has raised over $1.6 billion for pediatric cancer research since its inception and 84 percent of that amount has funded over 200 pediatric cancer research projects.
For more information and to register for this year’s event, visit dribbleforthecure.com.
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