Brick Charity Fills In The Gaps [AUDIO]
Edward and Sally Buecker were dealt the toughest hand a parent could face, losing their son, Bobby, at the tender age of 15. Rather than fold, the Buecker family and their friends have organized their efforts to honor Bobby's memory, and help others in the process.
- Tell us about a charity or organization helps make the Garden State great by using the form at the end of this article.
Bobby Buecker was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called sarcoma in 1996 at the age of 13 years old. While the family dealt with the crisis, the community of Brick and surrounding areas mobilized, forming a group called Friends Of Bobby Buecker. The outpouring of money and support was overwhelming.
"We just can't speak enough about their generosity and what they've done for us as a family, and to keep us going," Edward explained.
In 1998, Bobby unfortunately lost his battle with the disease. The Bueckers had a lot of leftover money that was raised for them that they did not feel comfortable using after Bobby's death, so they did the noble thing and began paying it forward.
That was the birth of the grass-roots campaign that is today known as the Bobby Buecker Memorial Foundation. They began helping anybody they could going through an illness-related crisis, spreading their message via word of mouth. The superfluous funds lasted until 2006, at which point the family had a choice to make.
They did not have a formal charity, at that point in time, but decided to incorporate and continue to spread their generosity in Bobby's name.
"The distress of a disease in a family never comes at a time when you planned, so there's certainly obstacles that you have to overcome," Edward says.
Buecker estimates that the charity is able to assist around 30 families each year, "filling in the gaps" on unforeseen costs associated with illness. These services include meals, travel expenses, and sometimes even just cash for a family.
One of the great things about the charity is that its simplistic, grass-roots nature, with no overhead and bureaucracy to speak of.
"There's no six pages of questionnaires that they have to fill out," said Sally Buecker, "It's just word of mouth."
At the centerpiece of the fundraising is annual dinner dance, this year dubbed as "Cocktails, Carrabba's & The Infernos."
Many local businesses donate goods and services for this annual event, with Carrabba's in Brick providing all of the food and the Infernos as the entertainment. More than 50 volunteers help with the process of setting up this large annual event, including long-time friend John Catalano. The event takes place in February because that is when Bobby's birthday is. This year's dinner dance was on February 26th, and it was yet another success.
Most importantly, it gives the family and community a chance to honor Bobby Buecker.
"His short life meant a lot on this earth," Edward explained, "In that span of time, his life generated tons of generosity."
Learn more by visiting them online.
More Good News
The Plainfield Area Humane Society - Plainfield
Time to get your furry friends ready for the Easter Bunny! The Plainfield Area Humane Society (PAHS) will hold its first Canine Easter Parade on March 31 at Parker Gardens in Scotch Plains. All proceeds raised from the event will be used by the organization to care for and rehabilitate stray, abandoned and unwanted animals. In operation since 1933, the main mission of PAHS is to find a loving home for every homeless pet. Click here to learn more.
Sunshine Spirit Photography and The Music Den of Randolph - New Jersey
In honor of March's Music in Our Schools Month, Sunshine Spirit Photography and The Music Den of Randolph are joining hands to raise money to keep music and art programs in New Jersey schools. This Saturday, rock star themed photo shoots will be held at the Music Den's performing arts center stage from 10am until 1pm. A portion of the profits made will be donated to music and art programs in local schools.