The Pink Polka Dots Junior Guild was founded in 2006 in memory of Sydney Coxon. Sydney died after a battle of just over a year with an untreatable brainstem glioma, a rare type of brain tumor. She was only eleven.
The Guild was founded one month later by Sierra Alef-Defoe, Maddy Berkman, and Kelsey Josund (then 6th graders) in honor of their friend. Since then the Guild has grown to include more friends of Sydney’s, younger siblings, and many other youth in our community.
In April 2006, we held our first event, fulfilling Sydney’s wish by holding a community garage sale. Our first year, we donated $12,000 to research. Now, we raise money through direct donations and the sale of our handmade art cards and other crafts at local Farmer’s Markets, local stores, Seattle Children’s Hospital, and through a variety of special events and fundraisers.
In September 2007, the first Sydney Coxon Golf Tournament and Dinner was held, this tournament continued annually through 2017.
In 2009 we received the Golden Tennis Shoe Award “recognizing groups doing extraordinary things for others".
In summer 2014 we hosted our first lemonade stand, now held annually on the Burke-Gilman trail.
In January 2015 we held our first Karaoke Night. This event is also now an annual tradition, (paused during the pandemic) and a much looked forward to community gathering.
In September 2018 we hosted our first Casino Night Dinner & Auction Fundraiser with speakers including Dr. Olson and members of Sydney’s family. It was a huge success (held also in 2019).
In the spring of 2019, new and former PPD members gathered and updated our mission statement, and in 2020 we joined with several other local guilds to stabilize funding for research scientists in the face of Covid-19 ( Optimizers Campaign). We also held a letter writing project to send thanks and encouragement to first responders and others most impacted by the pandemic.
The Guild continues to be operated by young people in the community and their families. We raise money to help researchers find a cure or more effective treatment for brain tumors so that no other child will have to face the same battle. Funds we raise support the groundbreaking research of Dr. Jim Olson at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
As of August 2023 we have raised over a million dollars! Thank you for all of your support!