As if it's not enough worrying about a toddler with leukemia, the Payne family is struggling with the high cost of medical, transportation and other costs.
Jeanmarie Payne says her daughter, Daisy, 4, needs constant medical attention, chemotherapy and other treatment, primarily at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick.
While the family has some health insurance, it does not cover all medical bills and it does not cover the cost of gas back and forth from their home on Saint Louis Avenue in Point Beach to New Brunswick, buying food while out and other related expenses that add up for a family.
So the Point Pleasant Rotary Club is trying to fill that void by selling its annual calendar raffle tickets to help the Payne family. Tickets cost $20 each.
of Auto Center, Route 88, Point Borough, said the Rotary Club is urging the community to buy raffle tickets as soon as possible this month so the club can help the family as much as possible.
Drawings for prizes start on October 1, so tickets must be sold by the end of September.
The total value of the prizes is $2,940. Each raffle ticket is entered into a daily drawing. The daily drawing winner gets between $20 and $100 (depending on the day). Each raffle ticket can win over and over. The drawings end on December 31.
Raffle tickets are available from any Point Pleasant Rotary member or by contacting Roberta Anne Burcz, 1229 Bay Ave., Point Pleasant, NJ 08742, 732-892-7334.
Jeanmarie Payne said donations will be used for: travel expenses to the clinic and hospital, medication and hospital stays that may not be covered by insurance, food during a hospital stay, to purchase books or games to keep Daisy entertained while at the clinic or in the hospital.
"One other item would be additional food store expenses," Payne said. "When Daisy is taking her steroid treatment, her appetite becomes that of an adult male. It is truly incredible the amount of food that she can consume and it is all hours of the day. Many nights we are up making pork roll sandwiches or grilling steaks to ease her appetite. Our food bill can double during this time frame."
Also, Daisy's 5th birthday on Sept. 27 is also approaching, her mother noted.
"We may purchase an extra special item for her (don't have any ideas yet though)," Payne wrote in an email.
"Right now, her playtime is centered around Princess Ariel, the Smurfs or Barbie," Payne wrote. "She is crazy about Barbie right now! 'Hi Ho Cherry O' is a favorite game of hers at the clinic but pieces are always missing. Memory games, reading books, art projects (she loves to paint, draw and color by numbers). A typical kindergartener I guess!"
Payne said she and her family greatly appreciate the support from the community.
In the last year, the Point Pleasant Rotary donated more than $25,000 to various people and causes including Caitlyn Pirl (a Point Pleasant Beach High School graduate who was injured by a drunk driver); Jesse Knecht, who has suffered serious heart and kidney conditions; scholarships for several Point Pleasant Beach High School students; the Children’s Specialized Hospital in Toms River; CASA of Ocean County; Saint Gregory’s Pantry; Harvey Memorial Church; dictionaries for third grade students; shelter boxes to disaster areas, and supplies to military troops serving overseas in combat areas.
The Point Pleasant Rotary raised this money through its fundraisers and donations, including last year’s calendar raffle.