Wonder women

The power pack: Traci’s Tribe is named after Traci DiStefano, who passed away last year from ovarian cancer. Last September, daughters of some of Traci’s closest friends formed Traci’s Tribe, a group of girls aged 11 through 14 who host fundraisers for cancer research. Source: Kim Stone

A group of girls aged 11 through 14 have banded together to raise more than $36,000 – and counting – for cancer research.

Traci’s Tribe, named after Traci DiStefano, who passed away last year from ovarian cancer, will host a fundraiser and benefit event later this month. All contributions from sponsorships and donations will go toward patients of the center.

When DiStefano was battling cancer, her friends and family sprang into action to help her, unofficially naming themselves Traci’s Tribe. Last September, daughters of some of Traci’s closest friends decided to make Traci’s Tribe a more formal group to host fundraisers such as this.

“I just wanted not only a way to keep Traci’s memory alive but help others just like Traci,” said 14-year-old Casey, who is spearheading the event with her friends. Casey is the daughter of Kim Stone, one of Traci’s best friends who knew her for 35 years.

DiStefano was first diagnosed with cancer in 2011, fighting her way through the diagnosis. But the cancer returned five years later, and she eventually lost her battle last January.

“Life had really thrown her a lot of different blows, but she always maintained an unbelievably positive attitude through it all,” Kim said. “She was a real-life Wonder Woman – that’s what we all called her.”

The family-friendly event will take place Jan. 25 at 2621 Van Buren Ave. in Norristown. It will feature raffles, silent auctions, a photo booth, a DJ, ping pong and cornhole tournaments and events for crafts such as rock painting and handprints.

The event has already sold more than 240 tickets, helping the girls raise the huge $36,000 on the tribe’s inaugural event.

“Traci was treated at the Fox Chase Cancer Center and we wanted to do anything we could to help patients just like her,” Casey said. She and her friends have been meeting multiple times a week for the past few months to organize the event with the help of their mothers.

To learn more about the event and Traci’s Tribe, go to TracisTribe.org.