NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Community members took part in a Halloween fundraiser gathering, “March a Mile With Lucas,” on Sunday at Jaycees Park in New Providence to benefit the Reiling family of New Providence. The Brooke Healey Foundation hosted the event.
Lucas Reiling, age 8, was diagnosed with inoperable brain stem tumors in 2008 and is currently unable to walk, speak clearly, breathe without a ventilator, or eat by mouth. His family is trying to make their home handicap accessible and the money raised at the event will help them reach their goal.
There were many families who joined in the fun with princesses, witches, superheroes, sports figures and even dogs dressing up for the festive fundraiser. There were more than 200 people in attendance and the event raised more than $6,000. Admission was $5 per child, $10 per adult, or $20 per family. For a $35 sponsorship, families and businesses had digitally printed signs with their favorite positive quote or words of inspiration on display for all of the marchers to see. A $50 sponsorship included both a sign and family admission. The lawn signs were posted along the route with notes of inspiration to Lucas and the Reilings.
Corporate sponsors included The Brooke Healey Foundation, Deltech Corporation, HomeCourt Hoops, Moms Club, Investors Savings, TAPinto.net, Flip Consignments, NPHS Booster Club, New Providence Chiropractic, C & J Costumes and the Don Jones Foundation.
Lori Castle, public relations manager for the Brooke Healey Foundation, said, “Organizing March a Mile with Lucas was a real team effort. The Brooke Healey Foundation is there to help people in need.”
Amy Reiling, Lucas’ mother, said, “We are so grateful. It is incredibly generous of the Healeys and the Brooke Healey Foundation to do this for us. They love our son and want him to have everything he needs for his future.” Lucas' father is from Livingston.
Steve Healey said, “I think it is wonderful that the community rallies behind each other. The New Providence community supported us so much and we are trying to give back as much as we can.”
Stefani Healey agreed, adding, “It’s especially close to our hearts because Lucas is a part of our community.”
The Brooke Healey Foundation had previously purchased an adapted trike for Lucas. After one week of practice he was racing down the street instead of being restricted to his wheelchair.
Eleanor, Sile, and Benjamin Mazza came out for the event. They said they were there to support “a good cause.”
Sharon Licari brought her daughter Kyra Licari and her friend, Ava Cumisky. The girls were dressed as New Providence cheerleaders. Sharon said, “We are here to support the Reiling family. Ava and Kyra are the same age as Lucas.”
There was also a costume contest that was judged by Lucas and his siblings and there was an award ceremony to top off the afternoon. With the support from friends and neighbors, the fundraiser proved to be a great success and many people who attended hoped that this will become an annual event.
After the March, Steve Healey took all of the signs from along the walk and put them on the Reiling family’s lawn.
The Brooke Healey Foundation thanked all who attended and all of the families who sponsored signs, as well.
For more information on The Brooke Healey Foundation, visit brookehealey.com.
For more information on Lucas Reiling, visit his Caring Bridge site: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/lucas7