Meet a Mom: Amanda Ettinger, Board Member of Kelly’s Angels, Inc. | Capital District Moms

Amanda is a board member of Kelly’s Angels, Inc that is hosting its signature fundraiser—the Mother-Lovin’ 5K run/walk—on Mother’s Day weekend, May 7-9, 2021. The event will be virtual again due to the pandemic; however, they hope to build on last year’s amazing show of virtual support where they had more than 900 participants from more than 20 states!

 

How long have you lived in the Capital District? What brought you to the Capital District?

After graduating from Penn State in 2012, my boyfriend (now husband) took a job with Siemens in Latham. Neither of us had ever been to the Capital Region or knew much about it, but thanks to a fellow classmate from Penn State we found ourselves in Saratoga Springs. We quickly fell in love with the area, immersing ourselves in everything it had to offer and over time dug our roots.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in Ocean City, N.J. and love going back as often as possible to visit friends and family, and of course to spend time at the beach. I have my bachelor’s degree in communications from Penn State. I am the Consumer Engagement Manager at Beech-Nut Nutrition Company. My husband and I adopted a rat terrier/dachshund puppy named Ziggy. We are also expecting our first child in just a few days – May 10, 2021!

 

Do you have any advice for moms who are pregnant right now (during a pandemic)?

Going through my first pregnancy during the pandemic has definitely been a learning experience. Not only am I experiencing everything for the first time, but I am also experiencing things a bit differently from my close friends and family members who recently had children. I was very fortunate my husband was able to come to some of the ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy, but there was a period of time over the winter where he was not able to go with me. I FaceTimed him in so he could experience it as much as possible with me. We did attend child-birthing classes, but had to do so virtually since none were available in person. I think the biggest challenge overall was trying to navigate seeing friends and family members during this exciting time while also making sure we were being safe. I think the best advice I have for others would be to be flexible and adaptable. There was so much going on around me that was out of my control, but overall what was more important than anything was ensuring the baby was healthy and safe.

 

What is Kelly’s Angels Inc.?

Kelly’s Angels Inc. was conceived by WNYT-TV reporter, Mark Mulholland, in memory of his late wife, Kelly, who lost her battle with cancer in 2007 at the age of 37. Kelly’s Angels is a charitable organization that provides grants to benefit children in the Capital Region of New York State whose lives have been forever changed by the loss of a parent or sibling to cancer or other illness. Kelly’s Angels also benefits families that are currently battling a life-threatening condition and supports college-bound high school graduates who have persevered through adversity. 

In 2020, Kelly’s Angels helped more families than we had in any year prior. In fact, our small all-volunteer charity provided grants, scholarships, and assistance to local kids and families totaling approximately $70,000!

 

How did you become involved with Kelly’s Angels?

I was first introduced to Kelly’s Angels Inc. in 2013 when I had the pleasure of becoming McKenna Mulholland’s (Mark and Kelly’s daughter) “Big Sister” through Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region. Since then I have always volunteered for the Mother-Lovin’ and in 2020 was a member of the 10 Years of Love Gala planning committee. I have always had a passion for giving back and helping people in my local community so when I was asked to become a member of the board, it seemed like a natural fit.

 

Could you tell me about the virtual run?

Now in its ninth year, the Mother-Lovin’ 5K is Kelly’s Angels signature fundraiser event that takes place each year on Mother’s Day weekend. While the pandemic will, once again, prevent us from running and walking together in person, we are thrilled to be keeping the tradition alive at a safe social distance so we can continue to help children and families in New York’s Capital Region. All proceeds directly support our mission to help children who’ve lost a parent or sibling to cancer or other illness or who, themselves, are battling a life-threatening condition. The Mother-Lovin’ 5K is held on Mother’s Day weekend so we can honor our inspiration, Kelly Mulholland, a beloved mother, wife, and school teacher who adored children with her entire being until cancer took her life just a few days after her 37th birthday.

 

Does Kelly’s Angels do any other events or fundraisers throughout the year?

The Mother-Lovin’ 5K is our only annual fundraising event. However, we did host the 10 Years of Love Gala in February 2020 to celebrate 10 years of the organization. 

 

Outside of fundraising events, what else does Kelly’s Angels do?

Kelly’s Angels helps children and their families smile during difficult times. We do this through Fun Grants – for whatever a child desires to help them make memories and smile again; Angel Aid – one-time grants to support families struggling financially due to the loss of a spouse or from significant healthcare expenses incurred in their life-threatening health battle; Angel Hugs – single, modest grants that bring comfort and cheer to a surviving parent in the form of memory-making travel, entertainment, or pampering to let them know we’re here for them; and scholarships – for college-bound seniors at 7 high schools in New York’s Capital Region who have persevered through adversity.

Additionally, earlier this year, Kelly’s Angels launched its very own podcast – The Up Beat. The Up Beat was founded to help families struggling with loss and adversity. Our goal is to provide hope and inspiration to pick listeners up when their hearts are heavy.

 

Registration: Now through May 9, 2021
Fee: Participate for only $10 per person
Mother-Lovin’ Virtual 5K: Run or walk any time between May 7–9. Upon registration you will be emailed a digital bib to post or print and wear on your run or walk. We ask that you run or walk a course of your choosing, at a safe social distance. Grab a selfie and send us your photo for the Mother-Lovin’ Photo Gallery! Share on social media with the hashtag #MLVirtual5k or #KellysAngels.

Click here to register.

 

Kelly’s Angels, Inc

Website: https://www.kellysangelsinc.org/

Follow Kelly’s Angels on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter

Email: kellysangelsinc@gmail.com

 

 

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