Volunteers in the News Two Local Organizations Team-up To Help 6-Year-Old Fight Cancer
Hoboken Family Alliance and hMAG dedicated the May hMixer to Faith Pruden, a 6-year-old fighting terminal brain cancer, and raised more than $1,300 towards her medical bills. By Danielle Elliot May 20, 2010
It's amazing where one Facebook message can lead.
Several months ago, hMAG creative director Kevin Cale received a message from a friend about a 6-year-old girl from Columbus, Ohio, who is battling terminal brain caner. Tuesday night, the magazine and Hoboken Family Alliance partnered to raise more than $1,300 towards the girl's medical bills.
"But it all started with that one Facebook message from Kevin's friend," recalls hMAG contributor Melissa Melms, "because she knew we worked in Hoboken and saw that our location might allow us to help Faith!"
Faith Pruden had created a wish list, the note said. At the top of her list? The chance to bake a cake with Buddy "Cake Boss" Valastro.
"Kevin quickly realized that we could help Faith check off a number of things on her list," says Melms, "and we decided to plan an entire special week for her from there. With the help of hMAG advertisers, Hoboken businesses, friends, family, and even strangers, people have been coming together, chipping in, and donating a number of things and events for Faith and her family."
With help from generous sponsors, they flew Faith, her 9-year-old sister, Trinity, her mother, and grandmother to Hoboken over the weekend.
"Hoboken has been especially receptive, offering to help in any way necessary to make Faith's stay extra special and comfortable," says Melms. "Retail shops, restaurants, hotels, and business owners have offered their services, time, and goods to the family to make their stay memorable."
The magazine arranged the events to coincide with the May hMixer, held Tuesday evening at The Quays.
The family flew in over the weekend, and on Monday Faith's dream of baking with the Cake Boss came true.
However, the week was cut short on Tuesday morning when the family returned home to Ohio because Faith is not feeling well. Melms says they're not sure that Faith will make it through the week.
The news was only greater incentive to host the fundraising event, and to encourage guests to donate towards Faith's medical bills.
Donations were accepted throughout the evening. Purses, gift certificates and gift baskets from The Sak, Midtown Authentic, The Shannon, Revival Vintage Boutique, William Howard Home, Sport Taekwondo, Romparoo, Hudson Dance Center, and Koko FitClub were raffled off.
The event featured live performances by Adam McDonough and John Miller of 7Mornings, as well as Hobokenite Ray Greiche.
"How could you not be moved by this?" asked Greiche. "Any little thing we can do, we should. This is just a small way to contribute."
"I think it's a great event," said guest Matthew Santos, 21. "It's really cool to see every gathering for a such a great cause."
"I am beyond touched," added Christopher DeSantis, who helped fund the week's events, "Times are tough, but you have no issues when you hear things like this."
To read more about Faith's trip to Hoboken, check out the July/Aug 2010 hMAG issue.