By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The name of the group is Bay Ridge Cares and its members proved on Sunday that their neighborhood really does care.
The “Sweet Sally Sunshine Fundraiser,” organized by the group to raise money to help the parents of one-year-old Sally Kabel pay for her leukemia treatments, was a monumental success, according to Justin Brannan, the organization’s founder.
“We raised around $20,000 including generous donations from Mommy Nearest and The Francesco Loccisano Memorial Foundation,” Brannan told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in an e-mail the day after the Oct. 6 event. Mommy Nearest is an online resource for parents. The Loccisano Memorial Foundation is a charity that helps children with cancer.
Hundreds of people came to the Wicked Monk, a popular restaurant-bar at 9510 Third Ave., for the fundraiser. The Kabel family, including little Sally, her mom and dad Nicole and Matt, and her brothers Thomas and William, were in attendance. The party started at 2 p.m. and lasted for more than three hours.
The fundraiser came right after the 47th Annual Children’s Ragamuffin Parade, which also took place on Third Avenue. At one point, so many people were jammed into the Wicked Monk; it was hard for anyone else to enter the restaurant.
Little Sally Kabel was diagnosed with leukemia at 10 months old.
Matt Kabel told the Eagle that he and his wife Nicole are overwhelmed by the amount of support the family is receiving because it isn’t just financial support that people are giving. “The support we've received from the community has been amazing, from providing meals for our family, to strangers on the street or at soccer practice offering any help they can provide,” he said.
Bay Ridge Cares, which was formed last year, took part in Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. Brannan, along with Bay Ridge activists Allison Robicelli and Karen Tadross, organized Bay Ridge Cares Kitchen and led a group who prepared and delivered thousands of meals to victims in storm-stricken areas of Brooklyn and Staten Island.
Mommy Nearest is a mobile app that pinpoints local parenting needs, not an online site, as was previously reported.