WATCH: Wall Intermediate Student Gets Surprise Of A Lifetime
It's Valentine's Day and love is in the air. However, there was a ton of love in Wall Township on Thursday.
When people ask me what the best part of my job is, I tell them about times like this.
I've been on-air here at The Point for 10 years and there have been many very special moments. This is one I'll never forget.
I received this email from Mrs. Lang, a science teacher at Wall Intermediate School.
Hello there Matt,
I have the Point app and see that you are running a contest to see Harry Styles on the Today Show. This is why I am reaching out to you. I am a teacher at Wall Intermediate School and we have a sixth-grader that tragically lost her mom this past week. Ironically, the day after you announced this amazing opportunity to see Harry Styles on the Today show, Tessa had to say goodbye to her mom. Everyone that knows Tessa knows that she is the biggest Harry Styles fan there is, dating back to when she was a toddler and Harry was a part of One Direction.
I will enter it on behalf of her because it would be an amazing distraction for a young girl that could really use it.
Thanks for listening,
I also got a similar email from Laura's daughter Lily.
Tessa's mother, Karen Jankowski, a lifetime Monmouth County resident passed away suddenly on February 3. She was only 48. Karen's husband John told me of her giving spirit and selflessness. Others told me how this mother of three had an infectious laugh and the ability to bring anyone to hysterics. Karen was full of life. While I never got the honor to meet her, it's clear she was a special person.
On Thursday, I went to Wall Intermediate to meet Tessa and her family, and try as Mrs. Lang put it, to give her a distraction. I spoke to Harry Styles' camp, and we were able to cook up a little surprise. There was a catch though. Tessa's family and the faculty wanted me to deliver the news...in the middle of her science class.
I didn't know that someone was recording when I interrupted a test, true story. If I seem a little monotone or subdued, it's because I was nervous quite frankly. I hurt for this sixth grader that had said goodbye to her mother just days prior. If you've lost a parent, you know it hurts tremendously. I can't even imagine having to go through such a loss at such a young age. Here's what happened.
Thank you to Laura Lang and her daughter Lily. Without them reaching out, this never would have happened. Thanks also to Tessa's father John, her sister Julia, and her entire family along with the many friends that were there for this special moment.
Last, but not least, thank you to the amazing faculty and staff at Wall Intermediate. After just a short visit, I walked out of the school knowing that Tessa would have all of the support and resources she needed to get through this tough time.
So, on this day that we celebrate love, never forget to hug those close to you as much as you can tell them you love them. You never know when your last encounter will be.