The Johnny M Foundation Holds Second Annual Fundraising Gala
Cherry Hill, NJ — The Johnny M Foundation (www.johnnymfoundation.org), an organization dedicated to improving the lives of children whose families face adverse circumstances, is sponsoring its annual gala fundraising event to benefit “Johnny’s House.”
The gala is Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, from 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., at the Westin Hotel, 555 Fellowship Rd., Mt. Laurel, NJ. The gala is named after Johnny Murabito, Jr. who died unexpectedly while on vacation in Orlando, FL, in November 2005. He was three years old. This year’s gala will feature silent auctions, live auctions, gift baskets, a cocktail reception, dinner, dancing and music by Don’t Call Me Francis. Purchase tickets by calling Nita Dranoff at (856) 857-6228 or visit www.johnnymfoundation.org.
The goal is to purchase a second “Johnny’s House” in Orlando in cooperation with the For Pete’s Sake Cancer Respite Foundation. The For Pete’s Sake foundation helps give adult cancer patients, their caregivers and loved ones a break from the medical turmoil with a vacation in a secure and comfortable environment.
The Murabito family created the Johnny M Foundation in 2010 to honor the "Five Year Angel Anniversary" of their son. In addition to creating a “Johnny House,” the foundation works to help less fortunate children experience activities that enrich their recreation and social outlets. Among these activities are building ball fields, camping trips, and educational enrichment programs. Other recent projects include building a toddlers playroom and creating a SpongeBob SquarePants-themed room at the Ronald McDonald House in Southern New Jersey.
“Words can’t express how touched we are by the support of the community for this worthy cause to support our foundation and the loving memory of our son, Johnny,” says founder John Murabito. “We are fortunate that by building a home in cooperation with the For Pete’s Sake foundation, we can offer a place of happiness and peace for families dealing with the extreme stress of cancer.
Last year’s inaugural event was a huge success, with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, dinner and dancing, martini bar, silent auction prizes (25 premium items), outstanding top-shelf live auction items, a contest to win a pair of 3.2 carat diamond hoop earrings, a 50/50 raffle and an iPod Touch2 drawing. At the end of the evening, the guests released balloons in the air for what would have been Johnny's ninth birthday and sang “Happy Birthday” in the evening's tribute to Johnny Murabito, Jr.
Last year’s gala raised more than $114,000.00, which enabled the foundation to purchase the first “Johnny’s House” in Orlando. For Pete’'s Sake is forced to turn many applicants away due to lack of availability, and John Murabito hopes this event will help raise funds for an additional home, giving more cancer-stricken victims a chance for a vacation with their families. Though John Murabito, the founder of Cherry Hill, NJ-based Ribbons Express and his family live and work in southern New Jersey, Orlando was Johnny’s final vacation destination. “With a Johnny's House in place, families facing major medical challenges can enjoy Orlando as much as my son did,” says Murabito.
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