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Holly Wright and Ruth Brown spoke together at a luncheon in Venice. Photo courtesy of Candice McElyea.
East County Wednesday, May 18, 2016 6 years ago

Lakewood Ranch business lights the way

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Local marketing firm raises money for Payton Wright Foundation.
by: Jessica Salmond Staff Writer

Wowzza the Amazing Candle will be shining light in more than one way.

Jaxx Marketing, a Lakewood Ranch-based firm, is donating a portion of revenue from sales of its Wowzza the Amazing Candle to cancer research.

The campaign aims to raise $1 million for research in a year, and the slogan is #CelebrateMoreBirthdays.

Ruth Brown, president of Jaxx, said she had wanted to do a fundraiser with her business for a while but had been working to grow the firm first. She had the idea to raise money for cancer research, and her public relations coordinator, Candice McElyea, had the perfect idea.

McElyea, a former Lakewood Ranch resident, used to be neighbors with Patrick and Holly Wright, founders of the Payton Wright Foundation. Their daughter, Payton, died of brain cancer at age 5 in 2007. The parents then formed the foundation to support research as well as other families with children suffering from brain cancer.

They decided to kick off the campaign to sell the candle by donating the first month’s proceeds to the foundation.

“When you think about someone’s life at that age ending, it’s heartbreaking,” Brown said. “If they survive, the torture they have to go through is heartbreaking, too. When we had something we could do for the foundation, we jumped on it.”

For every Wowzza the Amazing Candle sold in May, Brown will be donating $2 to the foundation. She plans on picking other organizations throughout the year as well, but she might extend the donation to Payton Wright another month.

“We don’t take advantage of the fact we’re alive most of the time, so celebrating a birthday is a privilege,” Ruth Brown said.

While she’s never had a child die of cancer, Brown’s father died of cancer at 57.

“Cancer hits everyone no matter what age,” she said. “We don’t think about it until it hits us.”

McElyea said she thought the campaign to celebrate more birthdays would fit well with the Payton Wright Foundation.

“Their values seem to align perfectly,” she said. “It’s cool because it’s a birthday candle. It works.”

Wowzza the Amazing Candle is a unique product that, when lit, unfolds like a flower and lights 14 mini candles on a base. The thermal heat of the lighted candles makes the flower spin on the base. It also comes in sports shapes. Each candle costs $9.95.

Kids are an important cause for Brown, who has three children and three grandchildren of her own.

“We don’t take advantage of the fact we’re alive most of the time, so celebrating a birthday is a privilege,” she said. “It should be fun.”

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