ROBBINSVILLE, NJ -- Every community has those people who are there in a minute for families in need, organizations that support a meaningful cause, or situations that require all-hands-on-deck. For Robbinsville, Dave Doran is one of those people.
Dave Doran is known by many in Robbinsville and Hamilton as a father of three young adults, selfless friend, neighbor, family member, and coach. He has been an active member of many Mercer County organizations that touch almost every corner of the community.
Friends of Doran say that almost a year and a half ago, he started experiencing some changes in his health which eventually lead to a diagnosis of ALS (or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), which is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. ALS is commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Even though symptoms of the disease progressed, Doran pushed back against offers to help. But, his friends who know how much he does for others were finally able to convince him to let them support him.
That’s when Robbinsville Councilman Dan Schuberth nominated Dave to be on the recieving end of generosity from Friends Making a Difference (FMAD), a New Jersey-based charitable non-profit organization that hosts benefit dinners for individuals and families in need in the Robbinsville-Hamilton area.
"Dave Doran is a neighbor and friend who has lived the tenets of selfless service to others for decades. He's organized our Irish Parade, taught youth at St. Greg's, coached soccer, filled leadership roles in organizations like the ONE Project and NAMI....the list goes on and on. Dave is a loving father, a humble servant, and a dear friend to many in our community,” said Schuberth. “He's given so much of himself to others; now it's our turn to help him at his time of greatest need. Let's come together and do what Robbinsville does best by helping Dave battle ALS and secure a future for his family."
The goal of the FMAD event was clear. “We are looking to bring the community together to give Dave support to help make possible what he can’t do alone. Now, it is time for us to give back to someone who selflessly gives to others. We want to give Dave the gift of peace of mind that his family’s future is secure.”
With more than 500 people in attendance on Tuesday the community certainly answered the call, helping to raise an estimated $35,000 for the Doran family.
Attendees represented the organizations that Doran worked so hard for, including Lifetree Community Church, Saint Gregory the Great Church, the Robbinsville Irish Heritage Association, NJ Hunger Relief, Community Emergency Response Team, Doane Academy, Robbinsville Education Foundation, Lifetree Community Church, Ability Tree New Jersey, Sikh Sabha of New Jersey’s Trenton Community Langar, Robbinsville Soccer Association and others.
Amman Seehra, one of the leaders of the ONE Project which helped organized the event, said that it came together in less than one month because of how much people in the community care for Doran.
"The very first email Dave ever sent me was about a single parent of three in Robbinsvile who needs help. 'What can we do'" he asked. A lot of times he wanted to help students; coordinate the food banks to deliver food for students just a lot of those types of things," said Seehra, who says that Doran is still working to support organizations important to him even as he battles ALS.
Friends and neighbors can still support Dave and his family by contributing via Friends Making A Difference c/o Tom Goodwin, 4621B Nottingham Way, Hamilton Square, NJ 08690 or through the event page on Event Brite (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/friends-making-a-difference-supporting-dave-doran-tickets-75616564179?ref=eios&fbclid=IwAR0U-55jxkMWjotNclGIV6pVSTD3kRGSciN3iaOdxBCalCjDT3K3SGc-TUg)
Know a story we should share with readers? Email editor Elizabeth Meyers and tell her about it.