Essex County News

CareOne Sets One Day Fundraising Record for Make-A-Wish New Jersey

The Courtright family poses for a photo at a media event.
(From L-R) Adam Davis of the Devils management, Corey Schneider of the Devils, Daniel and Elizabeth Strauss, Make A Wish NJ CEO Tom Weatherall and Nancy Kerrigan pose with a $1.3 million check.
(From L-R) Lexi Pourakis, 7, Cassidy Burke, 7 and Olivia Vanderhoof, 7, all of Hillsdale, pose with Belle at the Feb. 26 carnival.
Make-A-Wish New Jersey staff members (from left) Ali Intravatola, Victoria Bollhardt, Sarah Ruana and Meagan Plichta

NEWARK, NJ – For the Courtright family, the 200 Wishes carnival on Sunday, February 26 at the Prudential Center in Newark was about spreading the message of Make-A-Wish New Jersey and all it is able to accomplish for so many families across the state.

The Caldwell family certainly knows the value. Two of their four children – Matthew and Mitchell – have cystic fibrosis. For Matthew, age 12, that meant a wish was granted to surf in Hawaii. For little Mitchell, age 7, it meant he finally got to see his true hero, Pluto, during a trip to Disney World.

“It is really hard to put in words what Make-A-Wish New Jersey has meant for our family,” said Gregory Courtright, who attended the Sunday event with Mitchell, as well as his two daughters, Makenzie, 15, and Miranda, 9.

Sign Up for E-News

The Courtright family showed its appreciation recently, donating the family’s 1968 convertible Corvette to raise money for the charity. “If that doesn’t show how appreciative we are, nothing will,” Courtright said. “I learned how to drive stick on that car.”

Another way the Courtrights showed their support was to tell their story to the gaggle of media who attended Sunday’s event, generously presented by CareOne, a family-owned healthcare company. It was a record-setting day, with $1.3 million generated for Make-A-Wish New Jersey – enough to generate 200 wishes.

The impact of funding 200 wishes from a one-day event is tremendous, as the non-profit is typically able to raise enough money through the year to grant on average 500 wishes. Yesterday’s event included about 30 wish children and their families, who participated in a dizzying number of attractions, from jumping castles, to photos with Darth Vader, to building stuffed animals.

Spearheaded by CEO Daniel E. Straus and Executive Vice President Elizabeth Straus, the family-oriented event included ice skating on the New Jersey Devils’ ice rink, carnival games and prizes, a Build-A-Bear Workshop experience, and special guest appearances by Olympic Medalist Nancy Kerrigan, Corey Schneider of the Devils and Miss New Jersey Brenna Weick.

“I feel like I am the fortunate one here,” said Schneider, the Devils goalie, and a resident of Short Hills. “I am fortunate to be here, lift some spirits and help make their day. Any time you can help make wishes come true, it means a lot.”

Another featured guest at the carnival was  Kerrigan, who met with wish families and led two ice shows. “It is really great to be here,” she said, adding that Care One has done a terrific job create a family event that has been able to raise so much money for Make-A-Wish New Jersey.

Care One is New Jersey’s largest privately-owned post-acute and long-term care provider, and one of the largest privately-owned health care companies in the United States.

Each year, CareOne selects a charitable organization to support, with past initiatives raising more than $5 million in funds for organizations including: Superstorm Sandy relief efforts, Boston’s One Fund, The Valerie Fund Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

“As health care providers, we are committed to improving the quality of life of our patients and their families,” said CareOne CEO Daniel E. Straus. “Partnering with Make-A-Wish New Jersey enables us to extend this commitment to children and families throughout New Jersey.” According to Make-A-Wish New Jersey, wishes impact everyone involved - wish kids, volunteers, donors, sponsors, medical professionals and communities.

“Our entire CareOne team was excited to participate in this monumental fundraising event,” said CareOne Executive Vice President Elizabeth Straus. “This is an incredible opportunity to make wishes come true for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.”

All proceeds raised at the 200 Wishes event are going directly to Make-A-Wish New Jersey to grant wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

“A wish experience has a magical way of unifying people around the powerful mission of bringing hope, strength, and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions,” said Tom Weatherall, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish New Jersey. “The leadership and staff of CareOne have certainly proven this to be true through their inspiring efforts to help grant us grant wishes through their upcoming 200 Wishes event.” 


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Cedar Grove Police: No Charges Filed in Memorial Middle School Social Media Incident

March 20, 2018

CEDAR GROVE, NJ - Cedar Grove police announced that the investigation into a "concerning" comment made by a Memorial Middle School via social media in late February has concluded and no charges have been filed.

According to police, the comment, which was reportedly made on Instagram Live, could not be substantiated and there was no probable cause to file a charge.  Police ...

Bloomfield Commemorates Restoration of Historic Theodore Ward House at 41 Park Place

March 20, 2018

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - The Bloomfield Township Council presented a proclamation to Lou and Cynthia Mandarakas for their restoration of the Theodore Ward House at 41 Park Place. The Mandarakases purchased the 130-year-old home in 2008 and financed the cost of interior and exterior restorations.

Built in 1887 by Theodore Hastings Ward, an early president of the Bloomfield Saving Bank, the Victorian ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, March 21, 6:00 PM

Montclair Public Library, Montclair

Understanding Liver Disease

Health & Wellness

Wed, March 21, 6:00 PM

Montclair Public Library, Montclair

Financial Seminar at Montclair Public Library

Business & Finance

Wed, March 21, 7:00 PM

Hospital Conference Room 2 (Ground Floor), Glen Ridge

Becoming a Parent

Health & Wellness

Montclair Police Blotter: Vehicles Struck by Falling Trees, Attempted Burglary to Gates Ave. Residences and More

March 15, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ- The following blotter was issued by the Montclair Police Department on  March 13, 2018. 

03-07- 2018 (Orange Road) Attempted burglary to a residence. The suspect was not successful in gaining
access to the residence. The suspect vehicle was described as a white Dodge Ram pickup truck.
03-10- 2018 (North Fullerton Avenue) Theft of delivered packages ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...

Will Your Air Travels Be Impacted by Our Fourth Nor’easter (Fourth? Is it the End?)

March 20, 2018

TAPintoTravels - After three Nor’easters, you would think we could catch a break. They do say the fourth one is always the best.  This time, we should be very well practiced.

By now, you know the drill. This article has advice on local and airline support services. You may want to bookmark the page for future reference. 

Most Airlines now offer APP, text, or email ...