Man Who Won Football Auctioned by Boy For Sandy Relief Gives Ball Back; Giants Say ‘Thank You’
It was a month ago that we learned about Raymond, an 10 year old Toms River boy who felt the need to come to the aid of his neighbors after Sandy ripped apart the Shore.
It was this picture that caught statewide attention as we were all taken back at the selflessness of this local boy. After seeing the carnage that Superstorm Sandy left behind, Raymond felt it was necessary to help his friends and neighbors by any means possible. He was going to auction off his prized possession, a football signed by New York Giants Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz.
The outpouring of support for Raymond was instantaneous. Here are just some of the kind words left by our listeners in the original article.
Amazing Ray, such a big heart from such a young boy.....
Great kid. We need more like him.
The bidding started immediately with some generous listeners giving a donation to Ray's cause out of shear admiration.
When bidding closed, the ball had fetched $750. The man who had the winning bid was none other than Jim Curley, owner of Jim Curley Kia Buick & GMC in Lakewood. Jim was touched by Ray's story and wanted to meet him and present him with the donation.
Saturday afternoon, I met with Ray and his family at Jim Curley Kia on Route 88 in Lakewood
Ray was quick to show off the ball and present it to its new owner. In return, Ray's goal was accomplished by receiving a $750 donation to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Mr. Curley immediately asked the stunned customers in the dealership where he should display his new collectors item.
The opinion of the customers was unanimous. Mr. Curley, much to Raymond's surprise, ended up displaying the ball in the best place possible, back in Ray's hands.
The kindness of this young was infectious. He appeared on News 12 New Jersey and his story caught national acclaim. The New York Giants organization also heard about Ray's project.
Raymond's father said that a package addressed to the boy was delivered to their house. Ray saw the package, but waited for his father to get home to open it because his father's name is also Raymond. Ray Sr. saw that the package was from the New York Giants and instantly knew it was for his son. Nobody could have predicted what was inside that box from "Big Blue."
$500 will be going to 94.3 The Point and Townsquare Media's Restore the Shore program. We have partnered with Hometown Heroes, a 501(c)3 charity that is on the ground helping those who were hit the hardest by Hurricane Sandy.
The other $250 will go to Operation Christmas Hope Jersey Strong. Ray Sr. and Jr. are both a part of this great organization collecting toys for children and families affected by Sandy. Look for drop off boxes in the Toms River area, or visit their Facebook page.
This is a heartwarming story from beginning to end. Many thanks are in order. Thank you to Jim Curley and Jim Curley Kia in Lakewood, The New York Giants, and Raymond Sr. for raising such an amazing young man. Last, but not least, thank you to Raymond Jr. We can all reflect on that one belonging that we cherished as children. Think about giving that item away for the sole purpose of helping others in immediate need. I think we can all learn a lot from Raymond. I know I have.