A Benefit for Parents who have Lost a Child
For those who have suffered the worst grief imaginable, there is a support group and charity that can help you, and they have a wonderful event taking place this Saturday night.
I met Joni Morrissey one evening and she told me the story of the devastating loss of her son Christopher and how she took her grief and turned it into an opportunity to remember her son and to help others.
On April 5, 2011, she lost her oldest son, a Junior Honors Student at the University of Maryland. Christopher had graduated 3rd in his class at St. Rose High School in Belmar. On April 5th Christopher had spent the day at class and then, with his roommates, was getting ready for the Finals of the NCAA March Madness Tournament. As many college students do, he was drinking, playing beer pong, etc. His roommate put him to bed around 2:30 am since he had fallen asleep in his char at his desk. His roommate did what many a roommate would have done...not knowing that later that same night, Chris would aspirate on his vomit and choke, never to wake up again.
Joni says that when she didn't hear from him the next day, she didn't immediately think anything of it since she knew he had a a busy Tuesday with classes and studies. But then the nightmare that no one -- no parent, sibling, or anyone-- should ever have to experience began. Joni was notified by the ringing of the doorbell on that Tuesday night at 11:45 pm from the Howell Township Police Department that her son was deceased. Her Chris was gone.
Joni believes that her son guided her to start a foundation in his honor and memory. Because Chris wanted to save the world. That is now the logo of the Christopher J. Morrissey Scholarship Foundation -Saving the world, one person at a time.
Joni makes it her mission and purpose to go on living to share Christopher's memory and help others, with the assistance of her amazing family and friends.
This Saturday evening, June 14, 2014, Joni will hold the 3rd Annual Christopher J. Morrissey Foundation Benefit, 7 pm - 11 pm, at the Spring Lake Manor on Rt. 71 in Spring Lake Heights.
After 2 years building the foundation and serving its missions, this year both the scholarship and retreat programs will be expanded in a mission of assisting those who have been affected by the loss of a child. The foundation will distribute both academic and athletic scholarships to reach out to more of those in need.
There will also be a gift auction with over 150 gifts to be raffled, and a true 50/50 and door prizes.
One of the other mail purposes of the benefit is for the friends and family of Chris to honor him, remember him, and continue his legacy through music, dance, and speeches. They will also remember those children who left this world too soon by honoring the parents in attendance through a slide show, candle ceremony, and moment of silence.
Jonie says that to many, when Chris left this world it seemed that time stood still. A silence moved through family and friends -- a longing for one more day, one more word, one more touch. But they are beginning to remember not that he died, but that he lived. His life gave his loved ones memories too beautiful to forget.
Click here for more information, or to get tickets to this wonderful event, click on Christopher J. Morrissey Foundation. You can also get tickets at the door.
The Christopher J. Morrissey Scholarship Foundation, Inc. is a registered, tax-exempt non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. You can also find them on Facebook at Christopher J. Morrissey Foundation, or follow them on Twitter and Instagram at cjmfoundation.