"And the grand total is,” Linda LaFazia began, “sixteen thousand, eight hundred, sixty-seven dollars and three cents.”
That is the total amount of money the Johnston Memorial Cancer Events raised through three events this year. Proceeds will be donated to the Hematology/Oncology Unit at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.
“That’s absolutely incredible,” LaFazia said during last Thursday’s JMCE wrap-up meeting held at the Johnston Senior Center. “Considering the way the economy has been, that’s a great, great job by everyone concerned and connected with our events.”
Four years ago, the JMCE netted $12,000 that went to the Hematology/Oncology Unit at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence. Since then, the yearly totals have grown to $14,000, $16,000 and now $15,000.
In total, the group has donated $57,000 to Hasbro. LaFazia said these funds “are used for many different programs that help kids who are battling cancer.”
The JMCE committee vows to continue to raise more money in the years to come.
In fact, while the JMCE held three successful events this year, Chairman Dennis Quaranta and company will reportedly increase the number of different events next year.
This year, JMCE held its Memorial Golf Tournament in memory of Laura DeAngelis, Anna Mazzulla and Sal Gelsomino and came away with $8,126.57.
The annual Campfires for Cancer, which is like a huge family cookout with bonfires backed by memorial signs, raised $8,619.06.
Included in that total was money raised through a unique Stiletto/Boot Race that Vin LaFazia said, “drew a large crowd of young people that really enhanced the race and seems to have increased interest in our overall fundraising efforts.”
“The Stiletto’s Race brought in lots of new people. And putting the Campfires in one central location is a great idea,” added Pat Quaranta.
Vin LaFazia believes the Stiletto/Boot Race could double or triple in size next year and perhaps become the single largest fundraiser the JMCE holds.
“That race has lots and lot of potential to become a huge fundraiser,” he said. “There’s unlimited growth in a number of areas, especially if area restaurants issue a challenge to each other. We’re excited about 2013.”
Next year, the Campfires might be lighted on the bandstand at Memorial Park and burn inside fire pits.
At present, Vin LaFazia is negotiating with Job Lot to try and obtain at least 15 fire pits for the 2013 Campfires for Cancer event. In years past, that event has been spread out throughout the park and officials feel that a more centralized location would increase attendance and interest.
“We’re even talking about doing a bocce tournament,” Linda LaFazia added. “There are other things we can do as well. But right now, we’re happy with the amount of money we raised this year.”
In the near future, a group of JMCE committee members and several major sponsors will visit Hasbro Children’s Hospital to present a check for $15,000.
The JMCE will keep $1,404 on hand for start-up money and small expenses that occur before any of the scheduled events are held in 2013.
To join the JMCE efforts, call either Dennis Quaranta at 934-1969 or Linda LaFazia at 233-2564.