Christmas in July memorial fundraiser honors Hudson teen by supporting others with cancer

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In memory of Mackenzie Lowe.
In memory of McKenzie Lowe.

NASHUA – UNO on Amherst Street in Nashua will be hosting a week-long series of events starting July 27 to support the McKenzie Lowe Foundation, honoring the life of a Hudson teen who lost her battle with an aggressive form of cancer.

McKenzie Lowe died at the age of 13 from complications of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) in Oct. 2014.,

“When she passed, we said, how do you keep her memory going?” said Frank LaFountain, Lowe’s grandfather who lives in West Palm Beach, Fl.

Lowe was diagnosed on November 28, 2012 and in December LaFountain and other family members and friends stared the “Friends of McKenzie Lowe” group where they raised money for the Southern New Hampshire chapter of Cure Starts Now, a cancer research foundation.

event detailsLaFountain now serves as the Southern New Hampshire director for Cure Starts Now and raises money for them through the McKenzie Lowe Foundation.

“We’re just trying to find a cure for these kids who need it,” said LaFountain.

Christmas in July is hosted by Debbie Caron, marketing manager, and Sean Lavery, general manager of UNO in Nashua. This is not the first time the duo is hosting an event to benefit The McKenzie Lowe Foundation.

“They’re an unbelievable organization with great people,” said LaFountain about the Amherst Street restaurant. “We’re very appreciative for what they’ve done and what they continue to do.”

Caron said UNO is dedicated to helping their community and hosts a number of benefits throughout the year, but Lowe’s story touched her personally.

“I met McKenzie and she was just this beautiful soul inside and out,” said Caron. “To know that she had to go through this rare form of pediatric cancer hit me real hard, especially with three kids of my own.”

Christmas in July starts Monday night, July 27 from 6-9 p.m. There will be free wine tasting and local vendors to kick start your holiday shopping.

Tuesday is the kids party from 6-8 p.m. and UNO will provide sugar cookies for kids to decorate. There will also be arts and crafts and everyone will go home with a holiday goodie bag.

Wednesday is the adult fun night in the lounge with beer pong, discounted holiday- themed drinks and half-price appetizers.

The Christmas fun ends Thursday with holiday trivia starting at 8 p.m. with drink specials throughout the night.

dough raiserThroughout the week UNO is selling raffle tickets for prizes such as sports paraphernalia, Red Sox tickets, and tons of gift certificates for local shops and parks. The drawings will take place on the last night.

All events are free to attend and UNO raises money for the foundation by donating a portion of your check. You’ll need a “dough raiser” ticket to show to servers and UNOs will donate 20 percent to the McKenzie Lowe Foundation at no extra cost to the public. The ticket can be found on the McKenzie Lowe Foundation and UNO Nashua Facebook pages.

The money will go towards Cure Starts Now, The McKenzie Lowe Foundation and will be used for research to find a cure. Caron said every donation helps.

“I just want it gone so it doesn’t take the lives of so many children,” said Caron. “I wish I could save the world and take away all the pain and suffering, especially for kids because they don’t deserve it, it’s just not fair.”

The McKenzie Lowe Foundation also supports local charities and awards four scholarships to graduating seniors of Alvrine High School, the high school Lowe would have gone to. The foundation has donated to the Hudson food pantry and also Hudson Pets in Need because of Lowe’s love of animals.

“She loved horses, and she was never afraid of animals, even camping with the birds, snakes, and bears,” said LaFountain. “She would go into the streams and pick up little turtles.”

LaFountain said Lowe would want her family and friends to continue helping others, and that’s why they kept the McKenzie Lowe foundation going. The mission remains the same, to find a cure and help those in need.

Throughout summer, The Nashua Silver Knights are donating part of home game ticket sales to the foundation and LaFountain is already planning a large corn hole tournament for October.

“McKenzie was sensitive to the needs of others and that’s why we’re going to continue doing this,” said LaFountain.

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About Carol Robidoux 5853 Articles
Longtime NH journalist and publisher of Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!