GREEN BROOK, NJ — Danny Paltjon, a 1994 graduate of Watchung Hills Regional High School, received so much support from family, friends and neighbors after a baseball injury left him paralyzed from the chest down, that he decided to pay back the kindness.
Paltjon started selling Christmas trees from a family lot at 235 Greenbrook Road to benefit local children with medical issues and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Last year, Paltjon also donated 54 trees to victims of Superstorm Sandy in Staten Island and a food bank in Somerville.
This is the fourth annual Christmas Tree Fundraiser and should prove to be the biggest yet. WPIX-TV (Ch. 11) news was there Tuesday along with The Alternative Press.com to help raise awareness of the fundraiser.
The recipients of the funds raised this year are Daniel Knowles, a 13-year-old Piscataway boy who is battling a life-threatening illness, and Quaid Mobus, a 21-year-old from Warren who recently sustained a serious spinal cord injury.
A portion of the proceeds will once again go towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Make-A-Wish continues to provide some amazing trips. Brian Marsh, a former tree fundraiser recipient diagnosed in 2010, excitedly said he decided on a trip to Disney.
There are 250 trees, ranging from 5 feet to 8 feet, that need a home. On Dec. 7 and 8 only, the yard at 235 Greenbrook Road will turn into a Christmas wonderland with music, a bonfire, coffee, hot chocolate and food. The atmosphere of the tree lot is worth experiencing. They serve egg nog and sandwiches, blast Chrstimas tunes from a sound system, and Santa Claus even makes an appearance. People don't just buy a tree and leave, they stay and join in the festivities.
For those individuals who need a tree sooner or during the week, Malanga's Farm & Greenhouses in Warren will be selling them every day.
Paltjon is the youngest of six children and his mom Marva Paltjon said, " For Danny to do what he does after all he's been through, my heart just leaps." And this year, he's running the tree sale from his new home in Florida with the help of his extended family in Green Brook.
The first year selling Christmas trees, the proceeds were split to help Bridgewater resident Anthony Vicente, then 5, who had been diagnosed with kidney cancer, and a nine-year-old girl with bone cancer.
The Vicente's still help out with the tree sale and this year Anthony is also collecting toys for St. Peter's Hospital. Anthony is three years in remission but he continues to go to St. Peters in New Brunswick.
Paltjon said, "He's 9 years old now and he's the happiest boy you will ever meet, even during his battle with chemo. He asked me if its ok if we collect new toys for the children's cancer center at St. Peter's. He said they are in desperate need of toys in the waiting room. Some toys that are touched by children with rare disease can no longer go back in waiting room. The children get to bring them home. Sadly the toys are going home more often with children getting diagnosed with horrible, life threatening illnesses. Please lets help out St. Peters hospital and my dear friend Anthony and his quest to "replenish the room."
Any new toy for a girl or boy can brighten the lives of a child. Toys can be dropped off at Malanga's Farm and Greenhouses from Nov. 29 through Dec. 22 or 235 Greenbrook Road in Green Brook the weekend of Dec. 7 and 8.
To see the WPIX piece go to :