FAQs

What is Starry Night?

The Pediatric Brain Tumor’s Starry Night program is a national series of walk/runs that raise funds to support research and family service programs for the 13 children who are diagnosed with a brain tumor every day in the United States. Individuals and groups can form fundraising teams, and businesses can offer their support through sponsorships. These fundraising efforts are celebrated at a fall evening walk/run event where participants light the nighttime sky with thousands of lanterns to symbolize hope for a cure and honor our Stars, children with brain tumors.

Fundraising/Donating

How does fundraising make a difference?
Our mission is to eliminate the challenges of childhood brain tumors. We do this by funding cutting-edge research and providing support services to patients and their families during their cancer journey. Here are just a few examples of how your fundraising support makes a difference:

  • Fund research to find the cause of and cure for pediatric brain tumors
  • Increase public awareness about the severity and prevalence of one of the deadliest forms of childhood cancer
  • Aid in the early detection and treatment of this disease
  • Support a national database on all primary brain tumors
  • Provide educational and emotional support for patients and families

Where does the money go?
Donations fund medical research grants and family support programs at the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. The researchers we fund specialize in childhood brain tumors. Their results are leading to new treatment protocols that are shared with neuro-oncologists and neurosurgeons around the country. We also offer family support services in local communities, including free educational resources and college scholarships for brain tumor survivors. Also, a portion of all Starry Night revenue will fund a family services program at a local children’s hospital in each Starry Night city.

Are patients and survivors expected to fundraise?
Pediatric brain tumor patients and survivors are our Stars. Just like our other walkers and runners, Stars have an opportunity to raise $100 or more to become a member of the Rising Star Club. 

Stars who do not raise $100 or more and who want to be a part of Starry Night are encouraged to attend and participate as guests of the PBTF. Patients and survivors receive all benefits (T-shirt, lantern and wristband for food) regardless of the fundraising level achieved. This applies to Stars only, not their family members or team members.

What are participant fundraising pages?
Participant fundraising pages are personal fundraising webpages that are built into our website. This allows us to track donations across the country in real time, and makes it simple and convenient for you to customize your Starry Night participant fundraising page and email your friends and family to ask for their support. After you register, you will be prompted to set up a participant fundraising page. Customizing your page is a great way to connect with your supporters and personalize your cause. You can even link your YouTube videos or upload a personal photo. If you need assistance, email mystarrynight@curethekids.org.

How do I direct people to my participant fundraising page? 
When you set up your page, you’ll create your own URL (web address) that you can use each year. Add this link to your emails and other correspondence with supporters. Email mystarrynight@curethekids.org with questions.

If I don’t set up a participant fundraising page, but send in money, what happens?
Your Starry Night Event Team will create a participant fundraising page on your behalf, depending on the donation type. If this is the case, we will contact you by phone or email. Call 800-253-6530 or email mystarrynight@curethekids.org with questions.

I don’t have a credit card. How can I set up my participant fundraising page?
A credit card is not required to register online. Just go here to get started. You can also call us at 800-253-6530 or email mystarrynight@curethekids.org for assistance.

If I set up a participant fundraising page for one event and can’t make it, can I apply the funds to a future Starry Night event?
Yes, but this does pose some accounting challenges. Call us at 800-253-6530 or email mystarrynight@curethekids.org if this happens.

If someone donates to my participant fundraising page do they still need to register if they come to Starry Night?
Yes.

How long after my Starry Night event does my participant fundraising page stay open?
Your page will be open for fundraising for 30 days after the current year’s event takes place. You will receive incentive credit for 30 days after the current year’s event takes place. You have 60 days to redeem your incentive.

Do I have to start a new participant fundraising page every year?
No. You’ll be able to reactivate and update your Participant Fundraising Page as soon as online registration opens for the following season. You can reuse the same web address (URL) for your participant fundraising page, too. Contact mystarrynight@curethekids.org for details.

If I form a team and I am the captain, do I have a personal participant fundraising page, as well as a team page? If so, which one should I use to fundraise?
It really depends on your goal. If you want to share the funds with other people for incentives purposes, use the Team Page for fundraising. As a Team Captain, you can use your Fundraising Team page to encourage and support your team members. You can also assign portions of your team’s collected donations to individual team members for incentive purposes. If you do not plan to split the funds for incentive credit, use your Participant Fundraising Page for collecting donations.

Can someone send cash or checks to the PBTF for me?
Yes, but we strongly discourage putting cash in the mail. After collecting cash from your donors, deposit the funds into your checking account and write us a check for the total, or send us a money order. Include each donor's name, address and gift amount. All checks should be made payable to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation or PBTF.

Who are the checks made out to when I am fundraising?
All checks should be made payable to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation or PBTF. If someone gives you cash or writes a check payable to you, deposit the funds in your checking account and write us a check for the total. Mail funds to PBTF, 302 Ridgefield Ct., Asheville, NC 28806. Be sure to include each donor's name, address and gift amount. You can also bring cash and checks written to PBTF to the registration area on the day of Starry Night. Email mystarrynight@curethekids.org to request a donation collection envelope.

If someone sends me money, how do I add it to my participant fundraising page?
You can enter these funds as offline donations from within your Participant Center. If you need help, email mystarrynight@curethekids.org.

Is my credit card information secure?
Yes. Our system uses the latest encryption and security.

Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes, minus the value of any incentives you receive. Please consult a tax professional for advice.

Do you accept matching gifts?
Yes, we welcome and encourage matching gifts from qualified companies. Matching gifts are managed on a case-by-case basis. Please call us at 800-253-6530 or email mystarrynight@curethekids.org to find out how to receive credit for your company’s matching gift.

Can I make a donation in memory or in honor of someone?
Yes. When you choose this option on your donation form, you’ll be able to enter the honoree’s name and, if applicable, the notification address.

My donation didn’t go through.
Contact us at 800-253-6530 or mystarrynight@curethekids.org and we’ll assist you.

Can I donate by phone?
Of course! Just give us a call at 800-253-6530.

Does the foundation sell, rent or trade donor information?
Absolutely not. Please see our privacy policy for more information.

What is the Rising Star Club?
Raising $100 or more is easy! Become a Rising Star by raising $100 or more and receive a collectible Starry Night T-shirt, lantern and a wristband for food at the event.

What is the Shining Star Club?
You can become a member of our Shining Star Club by raising $1,000 or more, which will have a significant impact in creating a world without pediatric brain tumors. Members of the Shining Star Club receive a collectible long-sleeve T-shirt as well as a collectible Starry Night T-shirt, lantern and a wristband for food at the event.

What is the Big Cheese Club?
You can become a member of our Big Cheese Club by raising $5,000 or more. Big Cheese Club members get access to the VIP tent at the event, along with other exclusive perks, as well as a collectible long-sleeve T-shirt, a Starry Night T-shirt, lantern and a wristband for food at the event. 

Does every participant get a lantern?
Participants who raise $100 or more will receive a collectible Starry Night T-shirt, a food wristband and a lantern to decorate and hang during the lighting ceremony at the event.

Participants who raise less than $100 are welcome to join us for an inspirational evening including music, games, entertainment and camaraderie, but they do not qualify for a lantern, Starry Night T-shirt or a wristband for food. However, Stars (pediatric brain tumor patients and survivors) receive these benefits regardless of their fundraising level. Food wristbands may be purchased by anyone at the registration tent during the event.

Will my team members receive a lantern, T-shirt and food the evening of Starry Night?
Each team member who becomes a Rising Star by raising $100 or more will receive these benefits.

How can my company participate?
Businesses may participate by organizing teams of employees, plus friends, neighbors and family members, to raise money and walk/run in the event. Starry Night also offers a variety of  sponsorship opportunities with a menu of marketing benefits.

Event Details

How long is the walk/run?
The walk/run is 8.5K (roughly 5.28 miles) or 28,000 feet, one foot for each American child living with a brain tumor. This route will include at least two laps, so you can complete it as part of a relay team to make your walk/run shorter. Depending on what time you arrive, and whether you stay for the Shining Stars celebration and festivities, the entire event can last up to five hours.

What time should I arrive on event day?
It's up to you! Some people get there first thing to mingle with the crowd. Onsite registration closes 30 minutes before the walk/run starts.

What do I bring with me to the walk/run?
We walk/run rain or shine, so pack your rain gear. You may also want to bring your camera. We will provide water and snacks to all participants.

Can minors participate in the walk/run?
Yes! We encourage the whole family to participate and fundraise for Starry Night.

Can my running team or club walk/run together in the event?
Absolutely! Just be sure to arrive at the same time so you can line up together at the start point.

Do you provide food and beverages?
All our events include water and snacks for runners and walkers. Food wristbands are available for participants who raise $100 or more. These can also be purchased at the registration tent upon arrival.

Are there any rest/break stops during the walk/run?
Yes. We provide water stations along the route. We encourage all runners and walkers to take breaks as needed.

What happens if it rains on the event day? 
Children’s brain tumors show up rain or shine, and so do we!

Are pets, strollers, bicycles and inline skaters allowed to participate?
Strollers and wheelchairs are welcome. However, for everyone's safety, bicycles, inline skates, wheelie footwear, skateboards and scooters are not permitted. Please leave your pets at home as well.

Registering/Signing Up

How do I register?
Visit www.mystarrynight.org and choose your local event, or come to the registration area on the day of the event. Registration times vary. Online registration closes at noon Eastern on the Friday before your walk/run. Onsite registration closes 30 minutes before the walk/run departs.

How much does it cost to walk/run?
There is no charge to participate in our events, but please remember that our mission is to help kids with one of the deadliest forms of childhood cancer. We encourage a minimum donation of $100 per person. It’s easy to raise funds! Just ask 10 friends for $10 each, and before you know it you’ll earn a Starry Night T-shirt, a food wristband and a lantern to decorate and hang during the lighting ceremony.

Can I donate or turn in funds on event day?
Yes! We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express, cash and personal checks made payable to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Bring your funds to the registration tent. To request a donation collection envelope in advance, email mystarrynight@curethekids.org.

Does everyone in my group need to register also?
Yes, please! We would like for everyone to register online or at the event.

When I try to register online, I get an error message that I am “already registered.”
If you have logged in to our site before, you may be registered already. If logging in doesn’t work, please email mystarrynight@curethekids.org.

I don’t have an email address or Internet access. How do I preregister?
Please call our office at 800-253-6530 for assistance.

How can I sign up to be a volunteer?
We have many volunteer opportunities, from greeting and registering participants to distributing T-shirts and meals. Depending on the position you select, you may need to go to a training session before the Starry Night event. To help out visit our Volunteer page or send an email to mystarrynight@curethekids.org and tell us which event you’d like to attend.

Incentives

Do you have fundraising incentives?
Yes! Participants who raise $100 or more will qualify for a collectible T-shirt, a food wristband and a lantern to decorate and hang during the lighting ceremony at the event. Fundraisers who raise $350 earn all three items and the option to be timed during the 8.5K. Depending on how much more you raise, you’ll qualify for more incentives, with a selection of prizes at different levels. The program is not cumulative. You will receive incentive credit for 30 days after the current year’s event takes place. You have 60 days to redeem your incentive on our website.

How long will it take to get my prize?
T-shirts, food wristbands and lanterns will be distributed at the event. After you go online and select your incentive above the $350 level, it will be shipped by our vendor after the Starry Night event. If you don’t receive your incentive within one month, email mystarrynight@curethekids.org and we’ll put you in touch with the fulfillment company. If your item is the wrong size or needs to be replaced for any reason, contact the vendor directly.

If I get money after Starry Night, how do I upgrade my incentives?
Your participant fundraising page will be open for fundraising for 30 days after the current year’s event takes place. You can redeem your incentives right away, or you can continue to receive incentive credit for 30 days after the current year’s event takes place. The month after your Starry Night is a great time to increase your fundraising goal and reach the next incentive level.

If someone gives me $100 on my page do they get a T-shirt?
No. Funds donated to your participant fundraising page will be credited to you. T-shirts and other incentives are earned by Starry Night participants.

I don’t need any more stuff. Do I have to accept an incentive?
If you prefer that we use all of your funds for medical research and family support, you may decline the incentive.

Where can I see the list of incentives?
Click here to view our incentives.

Patient Families

How do patient families register?
Families of children with brain tumors register just as other Starry Night participants do. Visit www.mystarrynight.org and choose your local event, or come to the registration area on the day of the event. Registration times vary by event. Online registration closes at noon Eastern on the Friday before your walk/run. Onsite registration closes 30 minutes before the walk/run departs.

Will my child be able to walk/run if he/she has special needs?
Of course! We encourage children with special needs to participate. Our Stars are our guests, and we will make every effort to cater to their needs. The 8.5K is wheelchair accessible.

Can minors participate in the walk/run?
Yes! We encourage the whole family to participate in Starry Night.

What are the requirements to be able to walk/run?
There are no special requirements to participate in the 8.5K. We trust you to know your physical limitations and take breaks throughout the walk/run as needed.

Can I bring other family members and/or friends to the event?
The more the merrier!