The Colleen Giblin Foundation provides funding for the advancement of research on childhood neurological disease. On Thursday evening, a handsome crowd gathered at the Florentine Gardens in River Vale to celebrate Honorees, including the Kunisch family of Mahwah, receiving the Foundation's 2011 Humanitarian Award.
The Kunisch family has a long history of giving in Mahwah. Mike and Bobbie Kunisch were involved in the creation of the Tomorrow's Children Fund, and It's A Wonderful Life, a smaller charity also devoted to children. The couple has been involved with the Giblin Foundation since day one, in 1985. They are especially close to the Foundation's poster child, Danny Minassian.
As well as being involved in the Giblin Foundation, Craig Kunisch, who operates the family's Mahwah Bar & Grill, spearheaded a major fundraising effort to help the earthquake victims in Haiti. He also lends his support to Marine Moms of Mahwah, an organization that ships care packages to our troops overseas. In addition, the Mahwah Little League, Mahwah Schools Foundation, and The IronMatt Foundation count on him for support.
The Minassian family of Mahwah was in attendance. When Danny was 20 months old he suffered a debilitating stroke which left him with a severe seizure disorder. With the help of the Colleen Giblin Foundation and the Kunisch family, Danny was able to have a life-saving 14-hour brain operation. The procedure served to markedly limit his seizures. Today, he is a 23-year-old who was able to graduate from school, and enjoys spending time with family and friends. Danny's mom, Meg, serves as Executive Director of the Foundation.
The Foundation began back in 1985, when Paul and Vicki Giblin's four-year-old daughter Colleen died from an inoperable brain tumor. When it became clear that their little girl was in the final stages of her battle with cancer, her parents made a decision to establish a foundation in her name to benefit children with neurological diseases. They wanted to spare other children and their parents the anguish they knew all too well.
Working with Dr. Darryl DeVivo and the medical team at Colleen Giblin Laboratories, the foundation has made great strides in finding new treatments and cures. States Mrs. Giblin, "Our goal is simple. We hope that a doctor will never again have to say these words to another parent: 'Take your child home. There's nothing more that we can do.'"
Also honored at the gala were Ronald L. Tobia, Esq., for his contribution to community organizations, and Jim and Colette Vail, for their devotion to the enhancement of Catholic Education.