In the perfect world there would be no need for The Chase Ryan Olsen Foundation and no need to raise awareness about childhood cancer.

Volunteers assembling bows (Chase Ryan Olsen Foundation)

In the perfect world Chase Ryan Olsen would be 13 years old and getting ready to start 8th

A sample of some the bows made by the volunteers (Chase Ryan Olsen Foundation)

grade next week in Jackson Township.  However we know all too well that the world is not perfect and unfortunately the need for cancer awareness and research is greater than ever.

Every single day in this country 46 children are diagnosed with cancer while 7 more die of this dreaded disease which makes it the leading cause of death for children up to the age of 18.  Chase is one of them as he died in November of 2009 at the age of 9 just four months after he was diagnosed with a malignant tumor.

While the world is far from fair or perfect Maureen Olsen refused to allow her bubbly little boy to just become a statistic and she has used Chase’s death to help others.  With assistance from family and friends she formed a foundation in his name with the goal to help those dealing with the horror of childhood cancer through a variety of ways: education, awareness, support and even awarding scholarships to high school seniors who have dealt with pediatric cancer in their families.

As in many states September is “Childhood Cancer Awareness Month” in New Jersey thanks to Gerald & Maria Ravaiola of Jackson whose 3-year old granddaughter was diagnosed  with cancer less than a year ago.  They wrote to Governor Christie asking for the declaration and received it promptly which also encourages residents to wear gold as a sign of the state’s commitment to fight the disease.

Maureen Olsen who is spearheading the "Go For The Gold" effort. (Chase Ryan Olsen Foundation)

That led Olsen who is a pediatric nurse and some 30 volunteers to launch their own “Going For The Gold Campaign.”  That dedicated group has been meeting for weeks and turning rolls of shiny gold ribbons into bows of all sizes.  Those ribbons and bows will be available at Sunday’s annual “Jackson Day” at Johnson Park.

The idea is for gold ribbons to be displayed throughout the town and several organizations will help make Jackson as golden as possible.

For those interested in learning more about the Chase Ryan Olsen Foundation, you can visit their website at  A non-profit charity that receives no government funding and is supporting by donations, they donate any money received to several charities including Ocean of Love, the Make a Wish Foundation and families with financial needs.