Thanks to a bunch of local police officers and firefighters, a Point Borough family with an ill child has a lot more help and hope than they had before.
A charity softball game played by the Point Pleasant Policemen's Benevolent Association and the Point Beach volunteer firefighters raised $1,145 for
Ruthi Grabowski, Allie's grandmother, said she and the family greatly appreciate the efforts of the police, firefighters and all the residents who attended and donated.
"Last night was perfect," said Grabowski, a Toms River resident, on Monday night.
The game was played Sunday night at the Lakewood Blue Claws stadium in Lakewood, following a Blue Claws game.
Allie, 10, lives with her parents, Barbara and Bob, and six siblings on Bay Avenue and is about to start fifth grade at Allie's siblings are: Matthew, 13; Angelina, 12; Anna, 11; Alaina, 9; Krista, 5 and Markie, 2.
Barbara Ciancia, mother of Allie and her siblings, said her husband, Bob, has been out of work as a mason for the past two years, so supporting the family and paying medical expenses for Allie is extremely challenging.
The parents have no health insurance for themselves. They do have the children covered by a state health insurance plan.
"But we don't know if the state is going to drop our coverage for the kids," Ciancia said. "They've done it before."
So far, the state plan is covering the cost of medication, but the family does not know if it will cover the cost of a kidney transplant that Allie will eventually need since the disease is affecting both kidneys.
But on Sunday night, it didn't seem like such weighty concerns were bearing down on the family's shoulders. On Sunday night, it was all smiles, laughs, jokes and hugs among family, friends and those softball players who made the event happen.
The Point Pleasant PBA team also consisted of some Bay Head police officers, including Officer George Duffy, who was instrumental in planning the event.
It was Duffy who guided Allie to the pitcher's mound to throw out the first pitch of the game on Sunday night. Then Allie just sat back and watched. The police beat the firefighters 21-15, but this was a game with no losers.
As for the fundraising efforts, they are ongoing. Anyone wishing to donate to the family can contact Grabowski at email@example.com