EDWARDSVILLE - After 19-year-old Adam Behrhorst’s passing, his loved ones knew they needed to do something in his honor to help other families dealing with pediatric cancer.

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They came up with the Go Gold Kid’s Fest for Childhood Cancer, a fun fall morning with tons of activities. From 9 a.m. to noon on Sept. 16, families are invited to Liberty Apple Orchard in Edwardsville, where Adam used to work. Proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society (ACS), with funds specifically directed to childhood cancer research.

“I think I can safely say that cancer has touched everyone, in one way or another,” said Patty Barney, senior development manager for ACS in the Metro East area. “It’s really important to grow this event and for people to come and have fun and really make it child-centric and really have the kids out there. Last year, they had a great time.”

Liberty Apple Orchard, located at 8308 Kuhn Station Road, will sponsor games, food, face painting, raffles, a scavenger hunt, pumpkin decorating and, of course, plenty of apple-themed treats. FoamZees Foam Truck and Mike the Balloon Guy will be there, and an ambulance, fire engine and dump truck are scheduled to stop by for a touch-a-truck event. A beekeeper will also demonstrate how to harvest honey, with plenty of samples to go around.

Barney explained that Liberty Apple Orchard has sponsored this event for six years. They usually have a 5K as well, but they’ve decided to skip that and “blow up the festival” this time around, with even more activities than usual. Barney looks forward to the apple donuts and fresh-pressed apple cider.

“It’s just going to be a fun celebration of life and kids, and so we’re super excited,” she added.

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While the festival is sure to be fun, organizers also hope to raise money for ACS and pediatric cancer research. Pediatric cancer is one of the less funded types of cancer but the top disease-related cause of death in kids aged 1–19. ACS aims to increase research and provide supportive care for individuals and families dealing with a cancer diagnosis.

“ACS is very much involved in the community,” Barney said. “When it comes to ACS, it is an international nonprofit, and so a lot of people just kind of have this disconnect. But what people don’t understand is that that research benefits you and me and our neighbors and our neighborhood.”

ACS provides many services in the Metro East area, and Barney is always looking to connect businesses and sponsors with ACS programs. Julie Fleck with RE/MAX Alliance is the presenting sponsor on Sept. 16. For more information about how you can help, visit the official American Cancer Society website or contact Barney directly at patty.barney@cancer.org.

While she does a lot of work with ACS, Barney has a strong personal connection to the Go Gold Kid’s Fest; Adam was her son’s best friend. The $10 donation to enter the festival will go toward funding research to help families like the Behrhorsts.

“I wish, and everybody does, that there had been 20 different treatments that Adam could have gotten access to. He’s dearly missed,” Barney said. “When A Treatment and B Treatment doesn’t work for you and that’s all that’s there, that’s it. More research means more treatment, and more research means finding ways to help people survive cancer.”

Visit the official event page on Facebook to learn more, and stop by the Liberty Apple Orchard from 9 a.m. to noon on Sept. 16 for a morning of fall fun for a great cause.

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