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JackFest – Inspired by a young Charlottesville native

Inspired by brave kids that have battled cancer, JackFest is a family friendly festival aiming to raise funds for two critical organizations that keep families together as they face serious childhood illnesses – the Ronald McDonald House of Charlottesville and the pediatric hematology/oncology program at the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital. We invite you to come out, have fun, create memories, and support great causes!

JackFest includes a wide range of activities to appeal to people of all ages. These include:

  • Kid’s running races, a superhero dash, and a team obstacle challenge.
  • Kid activities such as bounce houses and slides, petting zoo, emergency vehicles, arts & crafts and a LEGO build challenge.
  • Adult and kid beverage and food options including food trucks and a beer & wine garden. 


Ronald McDonald House Charities of Charlottesville

The Ronald McDonald House serves families of children that must travel far from home for critical medical care. Charlottesville’s House is one of nearly 400 across the globe that provide lodging, meals, transportation, and a community of families going through stressful experiences. The House provides these services for a nominal donation, which means it relies heavily on charitable donations to carry out its mission. Each $1,000 raised through Jack Fest will support a family’s needs for 10 nights. Funds raised through Jack Fest will also go directly towards outfitting two guest rooms to meet the needs of children that are recovering from UVA’s new bone marrow transplant and immunotherapy programs.

The Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program at UVA Children’s Hospital

UVA Children’s Hospital provides care for children from across the state that are diagnosed with cancer. While UVA is a premier medical center equipped to handle many pediatric cancer cases, some children with challenging, rare, or relapsed cancer may need to travel longer distances for life-saving care. Jack Fest aims to raise funds that will help UVA expand its pediatric immunotherapy and stem cell transplant programs, allowing more children and their families to stay closer to home.


Jack Callahan is a 6-year old Charlottesville native that was diagnosed with metastatic cancer on February 6, 2019. Jack underwent initial treatment at UVA, but in June 2019 tests revealed those treatments had not eradicated the cancer. Jack and his family moved to Philadelphia for 8 months so Jack could receive care at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which entailed surgery, three rounds of high dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplant, followed by 7 weeks of proton radiation.

During that time, the Lorenzoni family of Ragged Mountain Running Shop organized the first JackFest in November 2019 to support the Callahans’ needs during their time in Philadelphia. The Callahan family now wants to pay it forward, supporting the Ronald McDonald House and UVA so in the future children like Jack can get the best possible care close to home.