Jingle Bells for Cancer Cells

It’s often said that when you have kids, the parents of your children’s friends become your friends. For Jade Bailey, Kristi Easterly and Christen Gullatt, that proved to be quite true. Friendship for them is about much more than soccer games and slumber parties.
With family histories of pediatric disease, the three women formed an instant bond. Bravely, they chose to see their kindred struggles as a blessing, using their hearts, minds and resources to make things better for themselves and other families, according to Gullatt. And thus, Hearts and Minds That Care Presents (HMC Presents) was born.
“We want to raise funds and awareness for these nonprofits that are close to our hearts,” Bailey says, referring to the Children’s Tumor Fund, the Basal Cell Carcinoma Nevus Syndrome Life Support Network and the Methodist Justice Ministry. The women chose three organizations that touched their hearts personally, and now they’re walking the walk.
On Dec. 7, HMC Presents will host its inaugural event, Jingle Bells for Cancer Cells, at the newly opened Sundance Plaza. The outdoor family event will include live music, a silent auction, food from local restaurants, an education corner, bone marrow donation, carol-singing choirs and more. Santa will be making merry as well, part of his annual visit to Main Street. Admission is $20 for guests 13 and up, and 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit the named charities.
There is no monetary goal at this point, but the women are looking at the big picture. “As long as we reach the community in a way that people want to help,” says Easterly, “we’ve been successful.”
Despite their struggles, the women would agree that this has brought their families closer together. Kids ask questions, and sometimes they’re not easy to answer. “At age 5, they don’t always realize why someone is sick,” says Bailey. But they have resolved to teach their kids to see beyond the labels — and there are lessons in it for them as well. “We were determined to have a positive attitude,” Easterly adds. “It’s given me an appreciation for all the things that are healthy and good.”
At the rate they’re going, there should be a lot more healthy and good in the future for everyone. “We all had trials in our lives that we weren’t letting defeat us,” says Easterly. Thanks to HMC Presents, these trials won’t defeat others either.