By Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone
As an elected official, you have the chance to meet hundreds of people during your tenure. I would like to share a story about a few special people I had the honor of recently meeting in person during a meeting of the Board of Chosen Freeholders.
It all started a couple weeks ago when I was reading through a local newspaper and came across a story about a charity event held to raise funds for pediatric cancer research. As part of the fundraiser, members of the community, including first responders, volunteered to have their heads shaved by children. Helping to coordinate the event was the Gorsegner family of Middletown.
What I learned through the story was how pediatric cancer personally affected the Gorsegner family. Their daughter, Natalie, was diagnosed Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at just 3 years old. However, I am happy to announce Natalie will soon be turning 8 years old and celebrating her third year in remission in November.
Soon after her daughter’s diagnosis, Andrea Gorsegner founded the nonprofit Infinite Love for Kids Fighting Cancer. Since its inception, this nonprofit has raised more than $600,000 for pediatric cancer research.
Once I read this story, I asked the Gorsegner family if they would attend our Board of Chosen Freeholders meeting as part of our efforts to recognize September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I think I can speak for my fellow Freeholders in saying it was a true honor and privilege to meet such a wonderful family who created such a positive force out of a negative situation. It was an honor to meet Natalie and her big sister, Hannah, who has shaved her own head in support of her sister and to raise awareness for several years in a row.
On another similar note, I would also like to talk about another cause that is very special to me – raising funds for pancreatic cancer research.
As you may know, I’m part of the committee for the annual Pound the Pavement for Purple 5k and 2-mile run in Neptune for the last three years. The race is held in cooperation with the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders and Neptune Township. I am excited to announce our fourth annual race will return on Saturday, October 7th and will be starting and ending at The Headliner in Neptune. As it is every year, the race beneficiary will be the Lustgarten Foundation.
I encourage everyone to come out and join us by either running or walking that morning and showing support for those who have been affected by pancreatic cancer. For those interested in participating in the run/walk, please sign up online by visiting http://www.eliteracingsystems.com/wp2014/pancreatic-cancer-benefit-5k-registration/
In closing, I would like to say how proud I am to live in a county where we have so many people and groups doing tremendous things and raising awareness and funds for so many important causes. It is truly an honor to serve as a Monmouth County Freeholder.