Jersey girl uses sweet 16 to pay it forward
A Toms River girl is using a benchmark event as an opportunity to raise money for a very important cause.
Maggi Brown is attempting to raise $16,000 by the time of her sweet 16 birthday party next month. She plans to donate the money to the Frances Foundation, which support families dealing with childhood cancer.
The organization is a special one for Maggi and her family. They provided countless support and care for Maggi's oldest sister, Caiti, while she battled osteosarcoma (bone cancer). Caiti tragically passed away at age 18 in the fall of 2008.
Maggi said the Frances Foundation remains in her heart forever.
"I feel like I need to give back to them for keeping me happy in my time of need," Brown said. "I'm just trying to make a difference and help this foundation because they helped me so much."
The 15-year-old decided after a recent event for the charity to try and personally give back.
That idea evolved into the Maggipalooza birthday event, which has gained a lot of attention and traction through social media and various fundraisers held, so far, to try and achieve the lofty $16,000 goal.
"They inspired me to stay happy and help other people," Maggi said.
To date, she is about halfway to reaching her target with around a month to go. Her 16th birthday is September 14, but she has extended the donation deadline to the actual day of her party, September 26.
Brown hopes to present a check for $16,000 that night to the Frances Foundation.
She said she is happy to help an organization that helped her so much and changed her family's life.
"It makes me feel kind of amazing because I know I can help a family just like mine," she explained.
"My goal is just to keep helping people and keep staying happy and try to make a difference, and inspire other people or kids to try to make a difference, too."