The Lexiebean Foundation is on a mission to help ease the financial and emotional burdens placed on families grappling with the realities of caring for a child diagnosed with long-term illness.
"When my husband and I started the foundation, we didn't want to just donate money to research. We wanted to reach out directly to the families who needed help," said LeaAnn Falabella, co-founder of the Lexiebean Foundation.
So on Wednesday night, the group hosted Theresa Caputo, a medium many believe can commune with the deceased, at a special charity event that helped raised close to $1,000.
"We're always trying to come up with new ways of fundraising, and thought hosting an event with Theresa would also be a great way for people struggling with loss to find a little bit of the closure they so desperately need," said Talin Conti, a board member of the Lexiebean Foundation.
An idea Conti came up with after going to see Theresa read for patrons at the Crossroads Restaurant in Hicksville, and learning that the medium helped groups like Lexiebean with fundraising.
"So far we've gotten some pretty good feedback from the people who attended last night," Falabella said, crediting the success of Wednesday's event to her friend Talin Conti.
The latest fundraiser in a busy calendar of Lexiebean events, the proceeds from Wednesday will go to help provide supply care packages and financial aid to families in need of help.
"My family knows first-hand what it's like when you have a child who is ill and the Lexiebean Foundation helps families, who are struggling to pay their medical bills, find money to pay their rent, to make a car payment, and buy groceries," Falabella said.
With out-of-pocket medical expenses resulting from pediatric cancer center charges shown to average $34,558 over the course of the treatment, Falabella stressed her group is constantly trying to find ways to cast a wider net for raising money.
"In less than one year since starting the Lexiebean Foundation we've raised over $150,000 dollars, which has gone to help families deal with the financial burdens of caring for a child with long-term illness," she said.
Those interested in getting involved are invited to attend The Second Annual Lexiebean Golf Outing at the Garden City Country Club on September 19 and the Lexiebean 5K Run at Eisenhower Park on October 1.
For more information on how to help log on to http://www.lexiebeanfoundation.org/.