Giving Back

Fundraiser Helps Defray Cost of Medical Treatment for Four-Year-Old Brooke Healey; 'Little Miss Sunshine' Abigail Breslin Performs

Brooke's parents, Steve and Stefani, with actress Abigail Breslin and her brother, Spencer Breslin. Credits: Kimberly A. Bolognini
In honor of four-year-old Brooke Healey’s diagnosis with DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma), the Believe in Brooke Committee and a nonprofit, Heartworks, held a fundraiser at the Grand Summit Hotel Saturday night in an effort to raise money for Brooke’s treatments. Credits: Kimberly A. Bolognini
Academy Award-nominated actress Abigail Breslin, who also plays in a band, performed during the event Saturday night. Credits: Kimberly A. Bolognini
Brooke Healey Credits: Kimberly A. Bolognini
Brooke Healey Credits: Kimberly A. Bolognini
Committee members and friends of Stefani's, Barbie Niehoff and Alissa Rust. Credits: Kimberly A. Bolognini

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - In honor of four-year-old Brooke Healey’s diagnosis with DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma), the Believe in Brooke Committee and a non-profit, Heartworks, held a fundraiser at the Grand Summit Hotel Saturday night in an effort to raise money for Brooke’s treatments.

With more than 430 people in attendance, the room was filled with support and love for the Healey family.

The fundraiser included a raffle, silent auction and a live performance from Academy Award-nominated actress Abigail Breslin ("Little Miss Sunshine").

According to member of the Believe in Brooke Committee and best friend of Brooke’s mother, Stefani, Barbie Niehoff said that everything was donated by “extremely generous” local businesses and community members.

“The support from the community is unbelievable. It’s unfortunate that at times like this everyone comes together but it’s also amazing,” Niehoff said. “Everybody is here to support the family and Brooke.”

Niehoff said that as of beginning of the night, the committee raised $100K from the event and are hoping to hit $200K by the end of the night to help Brooke to continue with treatments to fight DIPG, an inoperable tumor found in the middle brain stem.

Committee member and friend of Stefani’s Alissa Rust said that the amazing turnout really portrayed how much love and support the Healeys have throughout town.

“This is a small town, so to have 430 people goes to show how amazing the Healey family is,” Rust said. “Tickets sold out very quickly and selling ad space in town was easy.”

Rust added that the event is a tribute to the family.

Founder of Heartworks, Megan McDowell, explained that the nonprofit is an acts of kindness group for women that was established after the acts of kindness group from 9/11.

McDowell said that although her and fellow members from the Bernardsville nonprofit did not know the Healey family before the event, they wanted to lend a helping hand to help.

“We’re here because all of us know what it’s like to live through a crisis, so we’re doing whatever we can to make it easier,” McDowell said.

McDowell added that Heartworks members wanted to take the reigns on the event so Brooke’s parents, Stefani and Steve could have the support of their friends instead of their friends worrying about running the event.

“The purpose of Heartworks is to try and help with whatever a family living through a crisis needs. Even if we help relieve stress just a little bit, it’s worth it,” McDowell said.

Niehoff told that she and the committee are very appreciative of everyone’s support and generosity.

“We hope to continue to receive support, faith and prayers to keep Brooke going and to beat this,” Niehoff said.

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