Jason's Friends Founder George Sangiuliano told Patch that just under 200 cars and about 130 motorcycles participated. Among the special guests this year were Lou and Annamarie Magnifico and their 1966 Bat Mobile, musical guests the Grey Ghost, DJ Hot Rod Mike Gelnovatch, Marci's Dog House, the National Guard and Tom Gefior of TG & Son’s Ice Cream with his 1966 Good Humor truck.
Sangiuliano said the exact funds raised are still being counted, but that the total is more than $20K.
"What’s really great is when we went around saying hello, so many people asked why we only do this once a year," Sangiuliano told Patch. "It's really become a big event that people look forward to and we're growing every year."
Jason’s Friends Foundation Inc. began four years ago when Jason Condit, a local boy, son of the owners of Clark's Dairy Queen, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. Sangiuliano gathered a group of men and women, all volunteers, and made it their mission to raise as much money as they could to help Jason. Since its inception, Jason’s Friends Foundation Inc. has helped numerous children, aside from Jason, with pediatric cancer. They continue their mission of helping families offset the burden of their bills and expenses by raising money through various events and fundraisers throughout the year.
The foundation has assisted children and families from all over, including helping to fund the funeral for a boy who died from cancer in Florida. They will also help fund the Oct. 21 Clark PBA Golf Outing for Tylor Collins, the 15-year-old son of the Collins family (owners of Clark's White Diamond), who was recently diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma.
Sangiuliano said he is excited at how the foundation is expanding and is looking forward to updates currently being made to the foundation website and communications, which are now being handled by volunteers from marketing company RedFlannel Group.
As for Jason, he's getting better every day, says Sangiuliano.
"Jason just turned 10 last month and he’s doing really good," said Sangiuliano. "He’s still getting some treatments, but his primary treatment at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has concluded and he’s making improvements every day."
Sangiuliano wants to thank all those involved in this year's event and give a special thank you to the Union County Police Department and representatives from the Linden and Perth Amboy police departments who escorted the motorcycle ride through the Watchung mountains.
To learn more about Jason’s Friend Foundation Inc., please visit the group's Facebook page. If you know someone who is battling pediatric cancer, please call 732-396-0606.
Jason’s Friends Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization built on donations, sponsorships and volunteer work. New volunteers and donations are always welcomed and greatly appreciated. Those inspired to help the Foundation or make a donation should contact the Foundation directly until their new website is up and running. Once complete, donations will be accepted directly through the site.
For those interested in donating in the near future, make all checks payable to Jason’s Friends Foundation Inc. and mail to:
Jason’s Friends Foundation Inc.
138 Westfield Ave.
Clark, NJ 07066