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A Community Coming Together: 'Benefit of Love' A Smashing Success

Jennifer Fratangelo

Sunday, October 7, 2012 • 8:06pm

SPARTA, NJ - “Today is the Benefit of Love for Evin Muse, so we are hoping to raise a lot of money for the family and for Evin for his medical expenses and whatever his family needs in order to accomplish his goal of getting well,” said Theresa Pedernera, organizer of the Benefit of Love and best friend of Evin’s mother. “We want to raise awareness of Osteosarcoma and we hope to be able to help relieve some of the stress on his family.”

Evin Muse, a nine-year-old fourth grader at Helen Morgan School in Sparta, was recently diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, the most common kind of bone cancer. His diagnosis has made him unable to attend school this fall, as well as play any sports, of which he had played several, including football, soccer and basketball. For the next three months he will be receiving daily chemotherapy treatments at Morristown Memorial Hospital and, due to this, he was unable to attend the benefit.

"The Benefit of Love," which was held at The Mohawk House on Sunday, October 7, was sold-out and with approximately 78 silent auction items to bid on, including donations from the New York Jets, J. Thomas Jewelers and Perona Farms, the Sparta community was out in full force to show their support. All ages, from grandparents to children, were in attendance.

“We have had an astounding amount of community support. Franklin Sussex Auto Mall did a beautiful advertisement, The Mohawk House was wonderful in closing their restaurant down to host this for us. So many people have just come out for this event and we are hoping it is going to be a grand success,” added Pedernera.

Aside from the silent auction, the benefit also had food, including football-themed cupcakes, and a live band, The Mission Band, that volunteered to play the function. Every person in attendance was there to help in any way they could.

“It means a lot to me because he is such a wonderful boy; he is never without a smile and as sick as he is, whenever you go to the hospital and see him, he has always got that smile. I love him so much,” said supporter Ellen Roth, a friend of the family’s and mother of Pedernera.

“It is never an easy time to see anyone go through this, particularly a child, but I know how much it means to the family to have so many people support them in the community Let’s love on him all we can Sparta and help this family,” said Pastor Doug Thuen of the Sparta Evangelical Free Church.

“We pray for Evin for daily strength, for when he gets discouraged or fearful, we pray that you [God] will give him strength and encourage his family to continue to support him. Lord we pray that he will soon be on the other side of this, that he will be healthy, recovered and running around again and not concerned with these things and that he will be a testimony to a community coming together and bringing love in a very special way and a testimony that God does answer prayers,” continued Pastor Thuen, as he led those in attendance in prayer before the event officially kicked-off.

For more information on how you can help and donate to Evin Muse, click here.

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