March 2019 In Memory of Smiley Seth and Uncle Ray This Summer, Support a Local Organization I’m Helping www.MonteforteLaw.com (978) 657-7437 Practical wisdom, trusted advice.
N othing can prepare you for loss. Being apart from those whomean the most to you is heart-wrenching, whether it’s a child you only got to hold for a fewmonths or the soldier you love from afar, wondering if or when you will ever see them again. Years ago a friend of mine began“Let’s Bring ‘EmHome”to raise money to fly soldiers home for the holidays in an effort tomake the loss and separation of their tours of duty easier. As my friend was just getting this organization started, he—as is the case for many new organizations —struggled to secure enough financial backing to keep it running. To help propel his mission forward, I offeredmy services, at no charge, to help Let’s Bring‘EmHome become a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charity. This designation helps organizations looking to do good in our communities put more of the money they collect toward their beneficiaries. This began a new tradition for me. Every year now, I choose an organization for which I do this same work, free of charge. I’ve helped establish a variety of charities, each one vital to those they serve. Becoming a small piece of this philanthropy is a touching reminder for me, but the organization I’ve selected this year hits my family—andmany others—close to home. In the summer of 2016, Seth was born to proud parents Steve and Sarah. He instantly became his older sister Sadie’s best friend, and his infectious smile and big, blue eyes lit up every room as he greeted those around himwith his“chicken wing wave.”Seth shone in the comfort of loving arms and enjoyed being toted from room to room. He was loved tremendously, and he gave love back so easily. But Seth only got 14 months with his adoring family. In late summer of 2017 he passed away, held in the arms of the mother with
reality of death, but their response was touching and insightful. As a family, we became actively involved in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Both of my children actively fundraised for the cause. My daughter has even donated her hair to create wigs for cancer patients, sold candy bars for the society, and given a speech about her uncle in front of hundreds of people. It was one of my proudest moments as a dad. Seth’s family isn’t giving up in the fight against cancer, either. The Smiley Seth Foundation will be hosting a fundraiser Saturday, March 2, from 1–5 p.m. at the Tewksbury Elks Club, benefiting cancer research, purchasing toys for children’s hospitals, and helping families of those undergoing treatment. The event will feature family-friendly activities, including coloring games, a 50/50 raffle, prizes, a face painter, and a silent auction. The cost is $20 per ticket prior to the event or $50 for families. If the event isn’t sold out, tickets will be $25 at the door. Learnmore about Seth’s journey online at OurSmileySeth.blogspot.com.
whomhe shared somuch love, succumbing to complications frombrain cancer. Seth had been the star of the hospital wing where he underwent many rounds of surgery and cancer treatment, having even spent his first birthday there—and all with his famous smile. Seth’s family decided to turn their grief into good by startingThe Smiley Seth Foundation, which benefits cancer research, purchases toys for children’s hospitals, and helps families of those going through treatment. When a client reached out tome suggesting I look into this foundation for my yearly mission of creating a recognized IRS 501(c)(3) charity, my heart melted. There was no way I could say no. It would be a nightmare situation for any parent, and unfortunately for many families, all too familiar. Cancer has even rockedmy own big, crazy, (mostly) Italian family. My uncle Ray was 55 when he passed away from lymphoma. The disease killed him very quickly, and for my children, who were aged 7 and 8 at the time, the news that their goofy, admirable great uncle had passed was deeply painful. Uncle Ray was their first close interaction with the
-Michael Monteforte Jr.
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