The story of the Friends of Scott Foundation starts with a teenager named Scott. After Scott died of leukemia in 2001, his friends longed to keep his legacy of friendship alive. Sitting around his mother’s living room, Scott’s friends reminisced about how much Scott looked forward to their visits to the hospital, and decided they would help other children battling cancer in Scott’s honor. Within months, The Friends of Scott Foundation (FSF) was born.

Scott’s mother, Carmen Delgadillo, is the president of the non-profit, and every year she and dozens of volunteers help about 150 San Diego children who have received a cancer diagnosis. Thanks to private and corporate donations such as Southwest Airlines, the annual Light up the Holidays with Hope fundraiser has been able to meet emotional, educational and financial needs of families coping with cancer for more than eight year.

The Foundation runs nine different programs including a college scholarship program for cancer survivors. However, they are best known for their annual Unforgettable Prom – an incredible evening when hundreds of teenagers get to forget about cancer. For the past five years, the prom has delighted teenagers with cancer and their dates in San Diego, and last year FSF hosted its inaugural event in New Orleans, Louisiana with the support of Southwest Airlines.

From glitzy gowns and styled hair to the limousines, the Friends of Scott Unforgettable Prom gives children a fabulous night away from the hospital. “It’s a night to dance, laugh, and make memories with friends,” said foundation president, Carmen Delgadillo to Giving Back Magazine. A long red carpet lined with television reporters, photographers, celebrities, and cheering parents and nurses welcome each teen as they arrive.

For many of the children, The Unforgettable Prom will be their only chance to attend a prom. The memories and pictures from this magical evening are treasured by their families for a lifetime. Carmen recalls that it was a night Scott looked forward to, but never had the opportunity to experience. Now she feels like he’s helping make the same dream come true for other teenagers. “Scott would be very happy for them,” comments Scott’s brother, Eric Delgadillo. “I’m sure he is cheering them on too.”

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