The public is invited to attend an evening of wine tasting, delectable food and a live auction on Thursday, Sept. 6 to raise funds for Carson's Crusaders Foundation, which helps families battling solid tumor childhood cancers. 

The event, called Brighten the Night, begins at 7 p.m. Sept. 6 at the historic Flour Mill, 407 E. Louisiana St., in McKinney. Dress is cocktail attire, and attendees are invited to wear gold or accessorize with gold in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

"Attendees will enjoy an evening of wine and light hors d'oeuvre pairings," said Cindy Roach, Marketing Chair for Carson's Crusaders Foundation. "A sommelier will host the tasting, and a live auction will follow."

Tickets are required and may be purchased by credit card at or by check and mailed to Carson’s Crusaders Foundation, 906 W. McDermott Drive, Suite 116, Box 325, Allen, Texas 75013. 

The event is sponsored by and will benefit Carson's Crusaders Foundation, a non-profit group formed in memory of Carson Richardson of McKinney that raises funds for children battling solid tumor childhood cancers. Carson Richardson was just 7 years old when he lost his battle with hepatoblastoma, a rare form of pediatric liver cancer. The foundation was founded by his parents and family friends to provide financial assistance to children and families in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex battling solid tumors from childhood cancers.

"Beginning in January 2013, we will provide support to families at Medical City Children's Hospital, Children's Medical Center Dallas and Legacy Campus in Plano, and Cook Children's Hospital in Ft. Worth," Roach said. "We will focus on two main programs:  transportation assistance and sibling support."

"The more money raised in this online auction means the more families we can impact."  

Online Auction Open to Public

Even if you cannot attend the event, the online auction is open to the public. Bidding will begin on Sept. 6, but items already are loaded onto the bidding site so that the public can browse for items they'd like to bid on. Go to to browse now and bid on Sept. 6.

Examples of online auction items include:

  • Las Vegas Style Casino Party
  • Thrill Ride at Texas Motor Speedway
  • Indoor Surfing Sessions
  • Fun Dining Gift Cards, Entertainment Gift Cards (Splitsville), Car Wash Gift Cards
  • Top Golf , PGA Superstore, Golf Outing Gift Cards
  • Oakley and Coach sunglasses
  • Dallas Summer Musical Tickets
  • SeaWorld Aquatica Passes
  • Nascar Camping World Truck Series at Texas Motor Speedway
  • Photography Packages

Organizers said there currently are more than 84 items to bid on, and that they're adding new items daily. And, organizers said they are excited about the enthusiasm they are seeing in the community for Carson's Crusaders Foundation. 

"We have been so fortunate to have the community really gather around and support our foundation," Roach said. "For example, the venue for Brighten the Night Wine Tasting and Live Auction event is the historic McKinney Flour Mill. The Flour Mill is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The owner, Brad Kidwell, has been so gracious."

The largest event sponsor is Darling Homes, and other supporters include ENT Associates of Texas; Ebby Halliday McKinney Office; Holly Vines Events; Sweet Art Bakery; Sommelier Karen Bragg-Mathews; Metro Linen; and many more.

"These McKinney and Allen businesses have come together to support our cause, and it really speaks volumes for the communities we service!!" Roach said. 

During the month of September, Carson's Crusades Foundation will be conducting an educational campaign during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  The campaign is titled “Paint the Town Gold,” and the foundation is donating awareness posters to local pediatrician offices, hospitals, schools, etc.

"We are also asking people to tie gold ribbons in their neighborhood or around the town," Roach said. "Sports teams are encouraged to wear gold socks, bows, etc. to support this campaign. This is an excellent way for local youth to become involved in their community!"

Members of the public are invited to follow the foundation on Facebook at CarsonsCrusadersFoundation, on Twitter @CarsonsCru, or on YouTube at CarsonsCrusaders. To visit the group's website, go to