By EMILY REKLAITIS
Students and community members wrote letters to raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation. Nearly 200 people gathered in the school cafeteria on the evening of December 2 to add 2500 letters and $5000 to the total count.
Kerryann Silvestri, mother of A.J. Silvestri, said, “We’re so grateful to the Old Bridge public schools and our community. We wouldn’t be so successful if we didn’t live in such a great place!”
Every year, Macy’s donates thousands of dollars to the Make a Wish Foundation to help fulfill the wishes of children suffering from terminal illnesses. This is made possible by people writing letters and sending them to the foundation. For every letter written, Macy’s donates $2 to the cause. Over the years, this has accumulated millions of dollars in donations.
A.J., who has Cystic Fibrosis, had his own wish granted by the foundation. For the past 9 years, he and his family have worked with the Make a Wish Foundation to support and promote the cause in the community. “Make a Wish gives opportunities to children who don’t have them,” said A.J. “They gave me a wish, so I wanted to be able to help others.”
Old Bridge had already sent in over 136,00 paper letters before the event, and the digital number continued to rise. “But we aren’t focused so much on the numbers,” said Mrs. Silvestri. “Ever since Kendall passed, our main goal has been to honor her.”
The Bresocnik family has also played a major role in assisting the foundation in the past few years. Their daughter, Kendall, was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 7 and passed away soon after. “The kids involved with Make a Wish are facing some very difficult circumstances, and to do so little to help them get such joy is really a no brainer,” said Erik Bresocnik, Kendall’s father.
The event called Believe Night is in honor of Kendall and her love and belief in unicorns. “We’re so thankful for what Make a Wish was able to do for our child, and we want to help families in similar situations for as long as we’re able to,” said Kerri-Ann Bresocnik, Kendall’s mother. “It makes a dream come true for children who are facing a serious illness who really need it. It gives them a little bit of hope.”
Photos by Tim O’Neill