Magic 98.3 and The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital are looking for “Kids Who Make Magic!”
Each week, we select a child who deserves recognition for something remarkable they have done in their community, for taking action for a cause in which they believe, or for changing someone’s life for the better! Each of our Kids Who Make Magic will honored at an awards banquet on Friday, November 20, 2015.
What should you do if your child develops a fever, cough, vomiting, rash, sore throat or head injury? What should you do about behavioral issues, from toilet training to teaching responsibility to teenagers?
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LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR WINNERS!
SARAH BIER, Age 14
Nominated by: Edith Costello, fellow Girl Scout
Sarah Bier has been raising money and awareness for cancer research since the age of 9! She’s done it all, from running marathons, cutting and donating her hair, to participating in dance competitions, and even triathlons. She’s always willing to help out, and has a strong sense of wanting to give back to the community!
AMANDA STREIMER, Age 16
Nominated by: Daniel La Fragola, family friend
Amanda is very family oriented and has a big heart. For the past 6 years, she’s given up her Saturday mornings to volunteer with autistic children at the Manalapan Recreation Center. When she was in 8th grade, she won a “Humanitarian Award” for a speech she wrote about bullying. She’s cut and donated her hair for cancer research, has been a camp counselor for special needs kids, and is currently tutoring a 7 year old who’s having difficulty with reading. She’s an exceptional young girl who’s always looking for a way she can help others!
ANNA HAVENS, Age 8
Nominated By: Connie Makco, co-worker of Anna’s mother
Anna Havens told her parents “no birthday party” this year! Instead, she opened an Alex’s Lemonade Stand and donated the money to the Foundation for Childhood Cancer. Anna made flyers to advertise her event and placed them in local businesses and neighbors mailboxes. With the support of family, friends, and total strangers, Anna raised over $2000!
SAMANTHA BUCKENBERGER, Age 16
South River, NJ
Nominated By: Edith Costello, fellow Girl Scout
For the past 5 years Samantha has been doing some amazing things for Alzheimer’s Awareness, and so far, through such events as paddle auctions, tricky trays, Tupperware parties, and various fundraisers at family oriented restaurants, she’s raised over $10,000! She’s a varsity softball player, an amazing student, girl scout, and the captain of “Team Maureen” for the local “Walk to Alzheimer’s!”
CAITLIN NEWMYER, Age 16
Nominated By: Avril Keldo, RN at Saint Peter’s
For the past 8 years, 16 year old Caitlin Newmyer of Monroe High School has been a volunteer at the Oncology Unit at Saint Peter’s University Hospital, and enjoys helping out at their annual party for all children who have lost a parent to cancer. She helps the nurses with everything from wrapping gifts, preparing and decorating the room, and entertaining the kids. Not only does Caitlin volunteer her time, she also donates money! Last year, she contributed over $400 so all the children would receive presents. She’s a model teenager and an inspiration to all who meet her!
ALEXANDRA GABRIELLE JACKMAN, Age 16
Nominated By: Michael & Lisa Jackman, Parents
Alexandra has been helping people with special needs since she was 10, and 2 years ago, she created a YouTube Video entitled “A Teen’s Guide to Understanding and Communicating with People with Autism.” The film has been seen by over 55,000 people, and has been used throughout the country to teach acceptance of those who have special needs. She currently speaks at schools and organizations, using her film to teach people about autism. The film has also been used as an anti-bullying tool. In her spare time Alexandra is the organizer and Peer Mentor Leader for monthly special needs teen nights and the founder of The Hangout Club, a program at her high school to promote inclusion. She is also a special needs volunteer at the YMCA, The Friendship Circle, and Children’s Specialized Hospital.
CHRISTIAN CONFALONE, Age 16
South Brunswick, NJ
Nominated By: Cheryl Confalone, Mother
Several years ago, Christian was inspired to pay it forward after his mom received a cancer diagnosis and formed the “Day by Day Hope Foundation.” Volunteers assist families with chores, transportation, financial and legal advice, and emotional support and information. Christian helps to prepare and deliver meals, works fundraisers, and lets people know this organization is out there, ready to help. He’s a talented singer, and enlisted some friends to form a choir to perform at holiday events, has done many school fundraisers to help raise money and awareness, and even formed a Student Board where he resides as Chairperson! He trains in voice, dance, trumpet and guitar, and works with younger kids to help them find their “voice” at church camps and theater groups. Christian is an inspiration to all who meet him, and learned at a young age the importance of giving back.
TYLER ALMODOVAR, Age 16
Nominated By: Kristal R. Neal, CCLS; Child Life Specialist at Saint Peter’s University Hospital
Tyler Almodovar was recently diagnosed with cancer, and he, and his family, have had a difficult time dealing with his diagnosis, and lengthy hospital stays. He’s currently getting out patient treatment, and was able to return to school. He’s also been cleared to assist in teaching Karate to younger students, and is working toward his black belt. Tyler has come a long way in a difficult year! He attended sleep away camp for pediatric oncology patients and loved it so much, he is working toward becoming a teen counselor. He’s a true inspiration to all he comes in contact with.
MELISSA HAWKINS, Age 16
Nominated By: Susan L. Cooper, Youth Leadership and Volunteer Advisor
Melissa Hawkins is a 16-year old scholar, athlete and volunteer at Bridgewater-Raritan High School who goes out of her way to create positive change for others. She mentors disabled children in various activities, as well as leads her peers to participate in school and community projects. Melissa has been recruited to Vanderbilt University for the 2017 Girls’ lacrosse team, and she continues to perform as an honor roll student and a top athlete. She’s a bright, enthusiastic and generous young woman whose leadership, devotion and never-ending energy continues to make a positive impact on others!
HANNAH RHOADS, Age 15
South Plainfield, NJ
Nominated By: Barbara Rhoads, Mother
After a fire devasted the town of South Plainfield in 2012, 15 year old Hannah Rhoads not only experienced the loss of a dear friend, but was also saddened to learn that nearly three years later, there were no headstones at the cemetery for the people who perished. The remaining family members simply couldn’t afford it. After researching the cost, Hannah decided to do something about it. She submitted letters to newspapers, enlisted the backing of the Boyle Memorial Foundation, and went to work on a fundraiser. In the beginning, donations were slow but eventually, after a lot of hard work, Hannah exceeded her goal of $5,000, and this past spring, the headstones for her friend and the two family members were installed. Hannah held a small graveside service, and it was a bittersweet day for all who attended. Hannah is very proud of her accomplishment, and visits as often as she can to maintain the graves with flowers and trinkets.
ADHIT MENON, Age 12
Nominated By: Sangita Datta, Mother
Adhit Menon was deeply moved by the earthquake that struck Nepal in April, and decided to hold a Mother’s Day fundraiser at Community Middle School. While other 12 year olds would spend their pocket money on games or ice cream, he bought supplies to make origami flowers and sold them for $1 each! With a little help from the American Red Cross, Adhit was was able to collect and send over $300 to those in need! He’s a special boy with a generous heart who continues to volunteer in his community!
MAJI WHALEN, Age 10
Nominated By: Laura Whelan, Mother
Maji Whalen has been shaving her head since she was in 2nd grade–it’s not part of some crazy fashion statement, it’s to help St. Baldrick’s with their yearly fundraising event in support of cancer patients who lose their hair. Since Maji started, she’s helped raise over $20,000 for St. Baldrick’s, and has gotten many friends, and family members, including her dad, to participate! Despite being teased and sometimes referred to as a boy, she’s determined to continue to do this on a yearlybasis, and help raise money for cancer research. She’s the perfect example of someone with a will to help others and make a difference!