SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ — The South Brunswick Police Department recently made good on a promise to throw a pizza party for a group of kind-hearted teens to add the ideal topping to a story that captured national attention and warmed hearts.
Gavin Mabes, David Lakatos, Aaron Perna, Luis Velazquez, Damon Andon, Jiya Salman, Jessica George, Lauren Mazur, Samantha Schwab and Om Patel enjoyed a pizza party complete with cookies at the Crossroads North Middle School where the teens attend school. Also in attendance were Carter Braconi and his mom, Kristen.
Last month, the teens met Braconi at a township skate park on his fifth birthday. Instead of shooing away the boy, who has high functioning autism and ADHD, the group invited the youngster to join in — even teaching Braconi a few tricks on his scooter.
Braconi's mom was so impressed with the teens and their compassion that she posted about it on Facebook. The post lead the SBPD to tweet about finding the "superheroes" to reward them for their act of kindness. The tweet and the story went viral on social media and was picked up as a national news story.
It did not take long for the group to be identified and a reunion set up. Afterward, the department promised a pizza party, complete also with cookies and gift bags to all the teens, as well as Braconi and his mom in attendance.
“Those few minutes in the skate park exemplified what we all hope for in our young people, care and concern," South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka said. "Their story has gained national attention and made us all proud. It is sometimes in the smallest of acts that we can make the biggest impact. This party was a great way to recognize these young people.”