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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Jun 03, 2019

$16,000 Raised for Belford Woman Who Lost Legs After Car Accident

Submitted by Vincent T. Lombardi 6552 Council, Knights of Columbus

Maryann Murray-Levine Fundraiser knights of colombus

On January 31, 2019, Maryann Murray-Levine was in a tragic car accident. As a result of the various injuries sustained, Maryann suffered a bilateral amputation of both legs. In a flash, her family’s lives had been changed forever. The Murray-Levine family was suddenly facing financial hardship, so the community rose to the occasion with the Knights of Columbus leading the way.

James E. Stoever, NJ State Treasurer, and his wife, Lady Marlene, led the charge as they went out and secured Ginger Ninja Productions to highlight a fundraiser events with professional comedians. Jim contacted District Deputy, Colin Casey, of Maryann’s hometown in the Campbell’s Junction section of Middletown New Jersey. Knights came together to host a Maryann Murray-Levine Comedy Night Dinner and Gift Auction at St. Mary’s School in Middletown.

Colin was most fortunate to have fellow District Deputy, John Flynn, and the Vincent T. Lombardi 6552 Council Financial Secretary, John Housen step-up and work at his side to organize the fundraiser that would take place on June 1, 2019.  Jim and Marlene Stoever sponsored the Ginger Ninja Production team while local business owner, Stephen Taliercio (owner of Taliercio’s Ultimate Gourmet in Middletown) catered the event for 200 people and did not want a dime!

Maryann Murray-Levine Fundraiser knights of colombus 2

The team of Colin Casey, John Flynn, and John Housen went about town soliciting gift cards and basket donations from local businesses for the Gift Auction part of the evening. Twelve councils sent in donation checks, nine councils combined to purchased 14 reserved tables for the event, the Knights of Columbus Motorcycle Ministry sent a donation check, and two St. Mary’s organizations provided donations: the That Man Is You Group and the Catholic Daughters of America. One of the most heart-warming donation came from students at St. Mary’s Elementary School. When their principal, Mr. Craig Palmer, told the students about Maryann Murray-Levine and her family, the students wanted to do something. Craig, who offered his facilities for the event, had a “dress-down” day for his students.  These young children combined to raise $721.00 for the family!

It was very inspiring to see the 2 local councils: the Vincent T. Lombardi 6552 and the Rev Joseph Donnelly 11660 Councils come together to set-up, serve dinner, sell raffle tickets, assist attendees, clean-up and do whatever it took.  Brothers from these two councils made individual donations as well!

What made the night an even greater success was having Maryann’s daughter, Sarah; her sister, Kathy Calvert with her husband, Rich; and her close friend, Laurie Trovato and her family in attendance. Sarah Levine delivered a beautiful speech about her mom and later in the program, when the comedians took the stage, Maryann was present via Facetime and everyone gave her a great ovation.  The comics paid tribute to her which was met with both smiles and tears!

Maryann Murray-Levine Fundraiser knights of colombus 4

In all, the fundraiser brought in approximately $16,000.00 for Maryann Murray-Levine.  The night saw tears, some laughs, many gift prizes, great food, but most of all, we were proud to share the Knights of Columbus hallmarks of Charity, Unity, and Fraternity on a night where everyone became family!

God Bless the Knights of Columbus for what they do and we thank Taliercio’s Ultimate Gourmet, St Mary’s School, and the Middletown Community for coming together.  Please keep Maryann Murray-Levine and her family in your prayers.

Donations can still be made as follows:

Checks can be made out to K of C 6552 Levine Family Fund
And sent to:
Colin P. Casey, DD
Levine Family Fund
80 Stephenville Boulevard, Red Bank, NJ 07701