By Dylan D'Alessio
In April 2010, the small Pinecliff Lake Community in West Milford, NJ was swarmed with a sea of green of those participating in the first ever Irish Whisper Lymphoma Walk. Thanks to the community’s help, the Irish Whisper team, walking in memory of beloved Danny Kane, brought in over $36k and 350 attendees their first year in Pinecliff—grabbing the title of the leading fundraising team in the state of New Jersey.
Fast forward a few years…the Irish Whisper is currently known nationally as one of the top fundraising teams for the Lymphoma Research Foundation, raising close to $300k and they are prepping for the 6th Annual Lymphoma Walk in Memory of Danny Kane this Saturday, April 25th.
Danny was a beloved father and husband to his family, as well as a teacher, coach, and friend to many of the West Milford community. He had resided in the Pinecliff Lake Community in West Milford all of his life—attended the school system and then went on to teach Physical Education at Macopin Middle School for thirty-five years. In November 2011, the school’s gymnasium was officially renamed the “Danny Kane Memorial Gym.” Danny had truly been an inspiration to others—before, during and even after his long battle with Lymphoma. As Danny said, it was his dream to do what he could to “help the next guy”.
It was November 22, 2006 when Danny was diagnosed. From this point forward, being involved with the LRF would be part of their family for the rest of their lives. The Kane Clan had formed the team, “Irish Whisper,” in 2007 that started with a group of 13 people, including our very own Marketing Coordinator, Jessica Quas. Year after year, the team continued to grow, eventually to 109 family members and friends in 2009 who traveled to West Windsor, New Jersey to join the Lymphomathon Walk to raise money and awareness to help find a cure for Lymphoma.
Jessica had been a close family friend of the Kane’s for years, attending school and participating in athletics with Danny’s daughter, Kathleen. It was during Jessica’s final year at Ramapo College where her Senior Project was assigned to create and implement a community service project which would be presented to the program directors at the end of the year. Almost instantly, Jessica knew what she wanted to do.
After speaking with the Kane family, it was decided that the Irish Whisper team would hold their own walk in Danny’s hometown and neighborhood where he grew up and raised his family – Pinecliff Lake in West Milford. If the Irish Whisper could get a group of family members and friends to make the long trip to West Windsor each year, Jessica and the Kane’s knew that holding the walk in their hometown would make it that much more successful as well as special to all of those who knew Danny Kane.
Jessica, the Kane family and the small group of family and friend volunteers work year-round to make sure each Lymphoma walk is a success. They have made it their mission to help raise money for the Lymphoma Research Foundation—an organization that had been there to answer every question the day that Danny was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma. It is their hope that the money raised will eventually lead to a cure, but in the meantime, “help the next guy”.
Click HERE to visit the Irish Whisper LRF Team page for the 6th Annual Walk on Saturday, April 25th.
Click HERE to view a video of the 1st annual Irish Whisper Walk.
The Irish Whisper Team in 2007 walking in West Windsor, NJ for the Lymphomathon. Danny Kane in the yellow "Survivor" shirt in the middle.
The Irish Whisper Walk in 2013 at Pinecliff Lake in West Milford.
A sea of green - Irish Whisper walkers in Pinecliff Lake in West Milford.
The Kane family in 2010 at the first annual Irish Whisper Walk of Hope in Memory of Danny Kane at Pinecliff Lake in West Milford.
Jessica (middle) with Irish Whisper friends and walkers.