LIVINGSTON, NJ - Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey’s Horizon School, located at 51 Old Road in Livingston, hosted their 11th annual Wheelin’-n’-Walkin’ Challenge on May 23 and raised more than $100,000.
The event was made possible by students and their families, staff members and more than 80 volunteers who helped raise the funds, which will all go to support the school for children with multiple disabilities.
Guests at the event also cheered the unveiling of a cake, donated by Carlo’s Bakery (home of the famous “Cake Boss”), which was an homage to the school and the event.
“We have a lot of volunteers and this (event) makes a lot of money,” said Kelly Marx, who has served on the Horizon School board for over 50 years. “It’s a happening and there is always a sense of accomplishment for the kids. The walk consists of the kids circling the school, which is more symbolic than anything.”
In 2004, the staff and family members of Horizon School started the Wheelin’-n’-Walkin’ Challenge and raised $7,000. Eventually, the event expanded to include walks at the agency’s high school and three adult day programs.
“The kids work on it for months,” said Clark Machemer, board member and father of one of the Horizon School students. “They (the kids) have fundraisers leading up to the event and the money all goes back to the school.”
The Machemer family was this year’s top fundraiser, breaking an event high-record by raising $38,000 in donations.
“We are so grateful to the Machemer family for all of their hard work and dedication,” said Marx. “They not only raise a great deal of money, but they help to educate so many people about the importance of the work done by Horizon School and CPNJ.”
Funds raised this year will support the school’s hippotherapy program (which is done at a local stable) as well as specialized therapeutic equipment and educational technology.
“The incredible success of this event is a testament to the generosity and herculean efforts of our families and staff members,” said CPNJ’s President and CEO Jim McCreath.