Manhattan Maintenance Company, represented by President, Taryn Peppo, helped out at the event to raise funds to build an addition for Tierney Veliz. Taryn served as volunteer coordinator for parking and security as well as handling trash collection. The article about this event is below. Joe Moszcczynski and John O’Boyle did a great job covering this event for the Star Ledger.
By Joe Moszczynski/The Star-Ledger The Star-Ledger John O’Boyle | for NJ Advance Media FREDON — There was never an official head count, so the Veliz family will never know exactly how many guests attended a benefit to raise money for their daughter who was left paralyzed from the chest down following a car accident in June. But Rose and Tony Veliz know exactly how generous those guests were. “I have no idea how many people came, they came from all over the place — Parsippany, Peapack, Randolph — some people just came and gave a donation,” said Rose Veliz, whose daughter, Tierney, 22, suffered a broken spine, broken neck and other injuries in the accident that nearly killed her on June 5 on Route 94 in Frelinghuysen, just weeks after her college graduation. “One guy drove up to the fund-raiser, gave a check for $5,000 and left. He never even came into the park,” said Veliz. The benefit raised nearly $40,000 for a wheel-chair accessible addition to the family’s modest home in Fredon, Sussex County. The addition is expected to be built later this month, Rose Veliz said. In addition to the amount collected at the fund-raiser, people have donated directly to Tierney’s benefit fund, including a $10,000 check — the largest single cash contribution — from ThorLabs, of Newton. “Tierney couldn’t believe it, she was so excited. She kept on saying, ‘Can we get the room? Can we get the room?’” said her mother, laughing. In addition to paying for Tierney’s hefty medical expenses, the family is facing serious financial difficulties because their eldest son, 20-year-old Chase, has a rare genetic disease that has left him bedridden at home and brain-damaged. Out-of-pocket medical expenses for Chase alone amount to $50,000 to $60,000 a year, said Rose Veliz. The Velizes also have two other children, Christian, 15, a sophomore at Pope John XXIII Regional High School in Sparta and Marina, 12, a seventh-grade student at St. Joseph Regional High School in Newton. The addition will include a handicap-accessible bedroom and bathroom for Tierney, who is now being treated at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange. The addition is estimated to cost $90,000. The “Coming Home” event for Tierney was held Sept. 24 at Lodestar Park in Fredon Township and organized by friends of the Veliz family. Although she has made some progress with her rehabilitation, Tierney said she’s uncertain when she’ll finally be able to return home. “I personally believe that I’m not ready to go home yet. The therapy here is very intense and very beneficial. The doctors say they’d take it one month at a time,” said Tierney. “For the first time, I was recently able to put mascara on. I got it all over my face but I did get it on my eyelashes,” she joked. To make a donation, make checks payable to the Tierney Veliz Benefit, c/o Lakeland Bank – Fredon Branch, 395 Route 94, Newton, N.J., 07860.