NJ teen honors sister who died from cancer with 2nd annual festival
A little over a year ago, we brought you the story of Toms River teenager Maggi Brown, whose "Maggipalooza" fundraiser was dedicated in memory of her oldest sister, Caiti, who succumbed to osteosarcoma in 2008.
Brown's event, which established a goal of $16,000 dollars to be raised in conjunction with her Sweet 16 party, wound up hauling in $40,000 instead. So Brown is preparing to bring Maggipalooza back again on Sunday, Sept. 18, at the Vonage campus in Holmdel.
"I mean, I know we might not raise as much as $40,000 this year, but as long as we're trying and doing our best, I'm sure we could raise a lot of money still just in one day," Brown said.
The festival features tons of attractions for kids: food, rides, games, contests, crafts and face paint among them. There's also a walk and optional 5K, and numerous vendors will participate.
"People were inspired and they wanted to help and donate and do whatever they could," Brown said.
Caiti Brown was 18 when bone cancer claimed her life. Maggi said the Frances Foundation for Kids Fighting Cancer was instrumental for her entire family during her sister's last days. For Maggi, the group's involvement changed her perception of childhood cancer and what can be done about it.
All proceeds from Maggipalooza will go to the Frances Foundation.
"They don't leave out the families," Brown said of the organization, which pays to send families to sporting events, Disney theme parks, and other vacations, in addition to helping with medical bills in some cases.
This year's edition of Maggipalooza will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration is $25 a person and includes a wristband and T-shirt. Any additional donations are appreciated.
For more information, visit facebook.com/maggipalooza16.
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