A son, a brother, a grandson, a nephew, a cousin, a friend, an actor, and a football player – there are a number of ways family, friends and the community remember Alex Koehne, but one constant memory of the 15-year-old Sag Harbor resident was his propensity for helping others.
Following Alex’s tragically quick death in March of 2007 of non-Hodgkins large T-cell lymphoma, his parents, Jim and Lisa Koehne created the Alex’s Promise Foundation. This Saturday, November 29 from 6 to 10 p.m., the foundation will host its second annual Christmas Kick-off Party at JLX Bistro on Main Street, Sag Harbor. The event will feature a “Too Good to be True” raffle, as well as hors d’oeuvres, a buffet and a cash bar.
The foundation’s mission is to carry on Alex’s own desire to help people by supporting local youth through scholarship opportunities geared towards those involved in Alex’s passions – sports, theatre and community service – as well as organizations like St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. The proceeds from Saturday’s event will go solely towards a donation to St. Jude’s from the Alex’s Promise Foundation.
“Jim and I are actually flying down to Memphis on December 12, 13 and 14 to tour the hospital, meet some of the kids and give them a check from the event,” said Lisa Koehne on Tuesday.
Koehne said she learned of the work St. Jude’s – a pediatric treatment and research facility that focuses on cancer and other catastrophic diseases that inflict children worldwide – after Alex’s death.
“The biggest thing that set us towards trying to help St. Jude’s is when we learned that if your child is sick and you go to St. Jude’s for treatment, all the services are free,” said Koehne. “Learning that, knowing that their research facility and children’s hospital are some of the best in the country, we knew we wanted to help. If they can find out what happens with some of these diseases, maybe one more kid won’t suffer.”
The Koehne’s are also finalizing plans for the 2009 scholarship in Alex’s name, which will be for $5,000, and will be awarded to a student holding at least a B average, who is involved in sports, theatre, or most importantly, community service.
“Next year will be the year he would have graduated,” said Koehne of 2010. “So we are hoping we will be able to offer something bigger, maybe two scholarships. That would be the hope.”
For more information on Saturday’s event to benefit Alex’s Promise Foundation, or to donate visit www.alexspromise.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.