Love Crushes Cancer Draws Hundreds to Village at Leesburg

They’ve sorted donations for the homeless, they’ve visited seniors in convalescent care, they’ve cleared overgrown sidewalks at Sterling Parks. Then, the nearly 1,000 teenagers of Teen Serve Camp capped off their weeks of service by tackling a much bigger cause: childhood cancer.

Teen Serve Campers celebrate their good work with games at Love Crushes Cancer. (Renss Greene/Loudoun Now)
Teen Serve Campers celebrate their good work with games at Love Crushes Cancer. (Renss Greene/Loudoun Now)

Hundreds of people packed the streets of Village at Leesburg on Friday for Love Crushes Cancer. The event gathered 27 childhood cancer organizations together along with the teenagers of pastor Sal D’Agostino’s Teen Serve Camp.

“It was exactly what we had hoped for,” D’Agostino said. “Turnout was great, organizations got to represent themselves, and really that’s what it is. It’s just a platform, honestly, for childhood cancer advocacy groups to come in and show people how they can get involved. Because everyone has a unique approach to dealing with childhood cancer.”

The event capped off weeks of camps, in which nearly 1,000 kids and teenagers did work ranging from elder care visits and sorting donations for the homeless to clearing overgrown sidewalks at a park in Sterling.

[Read about 264 Teen Serve Campers at Gwen Thompson Briar Patch Park here.]

“I’ve had tons of email from families, parents, even that night—they were like, this is the most tremendous thing,” D’Agostino said.

(Renss Greene/Loudoun Now)
(Renss Greene/Loudoun Now)

This year’s camps were also marked by an original song by one of Loudoun’s most well-known and accomplished singer-songwriters, Todd Wright. For the second year, he penned a song about the camp with performances from the campers.

After writing the chorus, Wright sent it to D’Agostino, who taught it to the campers.

“He has those kids, they’re so dedicated to that cause, that when I came in and set up a laptop and a couple microphones and hit record, they knew that song,” Wright said. “It was such a moment for me to hear like 100, 200 kids singing something I wrote, and singing it perfectly. Even the little ones.”

Singer-songwriter Todd Wright in his studio in Leesburg. (Renss Greene/Loudoun Now)
Singer-songwriter Todd Wright in his studio in Leesburg. (Renss Greene/Loudoun Now)

Over the course of several weeks of camps, he assembled a chorus of hundreds. He acknowledged the song was “a little bit of an undertaking.”

“I was really skirting that cheese factor,” Wright joked. “I wanted to write a real song. I didn’t want to write some Kumbaya camp song that parents would think was adorable. I wanted to write something that I would be proud to play live. And I think I pulled that off.”

[Judge for yourself: Listen to “Together (A Beautiful  Noise)” here.]

And play live he did, to hundreds of people at Love Crushes Cancer.

Organizations at Love Crushes Cancer:
All links open in new tabs.

(Renss Greene/Loudoun Now)
(Renss Greene/Loudoun Now)

Alex’s Army
Athletes Crush Cancer
Be the Match
Bite Me Cancer
Camp Sunshine
Chris’s Crew
Hope Faster
IDance 4 a Cure
INOVA Children’s Hospital
I Promise 15
Journey 4 a Cure
Kate’s Cause
Kyles Kamp
INOVA Life With Cancer
Pray for Tara
Smashing Walnuts
Special Love
St. Baldrick’s Foundation
Step Sisters
Sweet Julia Grace Foundation
Team Buttkick
Team Mathias
Team Trevor
Brad Kaminsky Foundation
Truth 365
Tyler Crabtree
Virginia Polar Dip

rgreene@loudounnow.com
@RenssGreene