TOMS RIVER – A township family recently raised more than $10,000 for Children’s Specialized Hospital’s foundation.
The Ferone family presented a donation of $10,625 which came from another successful year of their annual Christmas Lights Spectacular. The spectacle literally spotlighted their township home during the holiday season.
“This is simply an uplifting, humble act of kindness right here at home, that this year especially has touched the hearts of so many. The Ferone Family Light Show gets bigger and better every year drawing hundreds of people throughout the season, driving by and stopping to view the event,” Long Term Care Senior Secretary Sherri Fernicola said.
She added, the family’s creativity “comes from their passion to simply spread joy and happiness. We in Long Term Care are especially grateful for our children here to receive such a generous gift.”
The Children’s Specialized Hospital (CSH) Long Term Care (LTC) facility in Toms River is home to many medically fragile children whose medical conditions and family circumstances no longer allow them to be cared for at home or in another community setting.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the patients were not able to attend the light show this holiday season.
With many other holiday festivities canceled the Ferone’s drew more visitors and raised over $10,000 for CSH between Thanksgiving and Christmas – well exceeding their $4,000 goal.
Long Term Care Supervisor Carolyn Franzoso said, “we are truly thankful for the Ferone Family and their generous donation to the Long Term Care Center. The creativity of their annual holiday light show has been a tradition that benefits the Long Term Care residents over the last few years, and this year is extra special.”
“The compassion from the community for the staff, residents and families during these unprecedented times, has been simply inspiring,” Franzoso added. “The Ferone Family has been spreading holiday joy for seven years with an exceptional Christmas light show at their home on Yellowbank Road.”
In 2013, Harry, Joe and Penny Ferone visited Disney World to see the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights show. The family saw how much joy and happiness the show gave everyone, including themselves, and decided to create their own show at home.
“We got to work right away researching the magical world of Christmas light displays and how to run our own,” said Rachael Martingano, who runs all the social media pages.
“Each year we challenge ourselves to make the show even better than last year. Planning for our shows starts in July. We begin to set up all our lights in the first week of September,” she added.
The family also decorates for a Halloween display, which last year ran from October 16 through October 31. On November 1, the whole team transitions from Halloween to Christmas lights.
Family member Brian Martingano helps with setup and breakdown while Penny Ferone decorates the inside of the house and sets up a village, featuring the family’s collection of Santas.
Harry Ferone said his family chose CSH as the beneficiary of their Christmas Light Spectacular because, “Children’s Specialized Hospital helps so many local families and this is our way of giving back. It feels good to help children right in our community.”
The CSH Foundation gives 100% of the donations it receives to support the programs and services of CSH that transform the lives of children with special healthcare needs.
The CSH Foundation receives philanthropic support from those who share its mission and commitment to ensuring that all children with special healthcare needs receive the life-changing care they need to reach their full potential.
CSH is an RWJBarnabas Health Facility, which provides inpatient and outpatient care for children and young adults from birth to 21 years of age facing special healthcare challenges – from chronic illnesses and complex physical disabilities like brain and spinal cord injuries, to developmental and behavioral issues like autism and mental health.
To make a donation visit childrens-specialized.org/donate.
—Alyssa Riccardi contributed to this report