Nicci Lowrey is used to helping out with causes. As the catering manager at in Creve Coeur, she's been active supporting the restaurant's efforts to donate proceeds to a variety of charitable causes in the St. Louis area, including the American Red Cross.
Efforts like these continue today, except now, the cause strikes closer to home.
In May, Kayla Thornton, Lowrey's cousin and goddaughter died from complications due to cystic fibrosis. She passed away in May just days after sharing her story with a live radio audience.
But before she died, she became dedicated to the idea that the letters CF would stand for more than cystic fibrosis. They could stand for cure found.
Now, “Kayla's Wish: CF Cure Found” has become the mantra of the girl's family and friends as they continue raising funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in her memory.
They're hoping to get others to help them raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation by voting in Tea Town USA, a Facebook-based competition sponsored by McAlister's Deli.
People can vote online once a day through July 28.
Towns can earn extra points when customers check in on a mobile ap and through other challenges. On July 28 McAlister's will hold a national free tea day competition. The McAlister's that gives away the most tea that day gets extra points, Lowrey said.
At the contest's end, the town with the most votes will get $7,500 for the charity of its choice, the second place winner will get $5,000 and places 3 through 5 get $2,000 with the next five places getting $1,000 each.
Lowrey said McAlister's is asking customers of St. Louis area stores to vote for St. Louis, not individual stores (like Creve Coeur or St. Charles) “because that's essentially competing against ourselves.”
McMO Management, LLC owns all seven area McAlister's Deli locations which selected the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for the promotion.
“They did so to honor Kayla's fight against CF and to help bring us closer to having CF stand for Cure Found,” Lowrey said.