Tonight, Tracy’s Kids Art Therapy Program honored Second Lady Karen Pence with the Courage Award for her support of art therapy programs across the United States and world. She received the recognition at the annual fundraiser called, “And the Winner is…Tracy’s Kids,” an event supporting a charity that employs art therapy to help young cancer patients cope with the emotional toll imposed by cancer and its treatment. The Courage Award honors the strength, dignity and perseverance that cancer patients exhibit every day, and is presented to a public person who has worked to address the challenges inflicted by the disease.
“I am humbled by the recognition and grateful for the opportunity to be involved with an organization with such an important mission of providing art therapy to children with cancer,” said Mrs. Pence. “Tracy’s Kids is truly making a difference throughout our country and it’s encouraging to know that their art therapy programs are bringing a sense of hope to children and their families battling through a difficult period in their lives. I am honored to receive the Courage Award and will continue to help art therapy programs further their efforts and reach more families in our country and world as the Second Lady of the United States.”
Mrs. Pence has served on the board of Tracy’s Kids since 2011 and also serves as the Honorary Chair of the Art Therapy Initiative at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2014, through a charitable foundation she founded while serving as the First Lady of Indiana, Mrs. Pence presented Riley Hospital for Children with a check in the amount of $100,000 to support their art therapy program. She has also made it a priority to visit hospitals in the U. S. and other parts of the world when she travels abroad in order to get an up close look at art therapists in action as they are helping children. Mrs. Pence acknowledges that what art therapists do for the children and their families is critical to their healing, both emotionally and physically and appreciates the work they do to make a positive difference in their lives.
Tracy’s Kids art therapy program is provided at no cost to the children and families they serve at seven separate clinics: Medstar Georgetown University Hospital, Children’s National Medical Center, Children’s Hospital/Physicians Specialists of Virginia, Inova Children’s Hospital, Methodist Children’s Hospital in San Antonio, New York Presbyterian Hospital and Children’s Hospital at Sinai, Baltimore.