Back in February of 2010, Red Bank Catholic High School science teacher Ashleigh Kennedy received the news that her daughter Kasey was afflicted with a serious medical condition — a diagnosis that saw the four-year old approached by Make-A-Wish® New Jersey, the nonprofit organization dedicated to fulfilling the dreams and wishes of Garden State children with life-threatening medical conditions.
As Kennedy recalls, Kasey’s wish was to NOT take her wish — but rather to raise funds to grant wishes for other children battling as she was. The young girl’s selfless decision inspired the school’s students to establish RBC Making Wishes Come True, a club dedicated to helping Kasey fulfill her wish by organizing an annual fundraising carnival. Five years after the first successful carnival, the event is still growing in popularity — and on Saturday, May 7, the parking lot of adjacent St. James Elementary School (30 Peters Place, between Broad Street and Maple Avenue) will one again serve as the site of the fun(d)raising fair, with all proceeds dedicated this year to a local charity for kids to whom a wish granted could make a big difference.
That beneficiary is Red Bank-based Jasons Dreams for Kids, the not-for-profit organization founded in memory of Jason Douglas Craeger, a young boy who lost his battle with cancer in 1992. Since that time, JDFK has worked to fulfill the wishes of New Jersey children and teens with serious progressive, degenerative or malignant conditions — and according to club moderator Kennedy, the RBC students and daughter Kasey (who underwent brain surgery and an aggressive program of treatments in late 2013) “felt that this smaller organization who focuses on local children needed our fund more than the nationwide foundation of Make A Wish.”
The RBC Making Wishes Come True club members have set a fundraising goal of $15,000 for the May 7 carnival that runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Attendees will enjoy midway-style games and prizes, rides, a gift auction, video game trailer and rock climbing wall, and all proceeds from the day (as well as sponsorships) will go directly to Jason’s Dreams for Kids.
Tickets ($10 per person; $15 including unlimited rock wall use) will be sold at the event, but can also be purchased in advance here.