Michael Rankin is a 9-year who lives in Toms River and attends Cedar Grove Elementary School.  He plays soccer, wrestles for three clubs, plays little league and travel baseball, swims for the Ocean County YMCA swim team and also plays the piano.   Michael was also diagnosed with Leukemia less than a year ago and is currently in the maintenance phase of his treatment and doing very well. 

Michael Rankin (Townsquare Media NJ)

Cara Bove Schoner was born and raised in Toms River and comes from a family well known as owners of Luigi’s Restaurant and La Bove Grand in Lakehurst. While pregnant with her second child she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoma. Luca is now 7 ½ months old and since his birth Cara has been going through treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation.

What these two have in common, besides their on-going battles is that they will be the main beneficiaries of Friends Helping Friends of New Jersey’s 5th Annual Golf Outing & Dinner Gift Auction.   The fundraising gala will be held on Friday, November 1st at Woodlake County Club in Lakewood and it’s a day-long event that begins with breakfast, includes golf and culminates with dinner and an auction of more than 75 gift baskets.

This is the fifth such event presented by an organization dedicated to “paying it forward” by creating fundraisers to help friends and families during challenging times with financial assistance and emotional support.

The first four were each attended by some 400 people and helped raise more than $230,000 with all proceeds going directly to the families who often face mounting medical bills.  Friends Helping Friends of New Jersey is hoping for a turnout of 500 for the November 1st event which will also benefit Timothy Vanderpyl and Matthew DeRiggi, who are members of the Lillian Dean Dance Studio family and dealing with their own battles and challenges.

Cara Bove Schoner (Townsquare Media NJ)

This clearly is an organization that has made a direct impact on the lives of Ocean County residents and deserving of support from the public and business community.  For information on the November 1st golf outing and dinner and how you can help visit their website at FriendsHelpingFriendsNJ.com