EDWARDSVILLE - Whitley’s Wishes will be celebrating what would have been Whitley’s 16th birthday at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 14, at the Edwardsville Moose Lodge during Whitley’s Sweet 16 Gala.

The evening will be filled with live music, food, a silent auction, raffles and door prizes as the organization continues to raise funds for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) research and celebrate Whitley's birthday.

Christy Jennings said a portion of the gala’s proceeds will be going towards DIPG research because experts believe finding a treatment for DIPG can lead to finding a treatment other types of cancer.

“Whitley desperately wanted to find a cure, not just for herself but for everyone suffering from cancer,” Jennings said. “She always said she wanted to find a cure.”

In addition to cancer research a part of the proceeds will go towards creating a scholarship in Whitley’s memory that will be awarded to one of her classmates in 2020, the year Whitley would have graduated.

Mayor of Edwardsville, Hal Patton, recognized Jennings and Whitley’s Wishes during a recent City Council meeting while discussing plans to install new playground equipment at Vadalabene Park, one of Whitley’s wishes.

“I know Ms. Jennings is very passionate about her daughter, cancer treatment and future individuals benefiting from her causes,” Mayor Patton said. “I think they’ll continue to raise money and do good things for the area.”

Jennings, knowing how much it would have meant to Whitley, said it will be great to see the installation of new playground equipment.

Food will be provided by 222 Artisan Bakery, Bella Milano, Cartina’s Cleveland Heath, The Foundry Public House, Peel, The Source Juicery, Krissie’s Cakes.

For more information on Whitley’s Wishes or to purchase tickets for Whitley’s Sweet 16 Gala visit www.whitleyswishes.org.

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