Holy Rosary raised $2,000 in “Jeans for Judy” fundraiser

By Joe Healey jhealey@civitasmedia.com

April 12, 2014

The students, faculty and friends of Holy Rosary School in Duryea raised $2,000 in their “Jeans for Judy” fundraiser, said 13-year old student and organizer Grace Berlew.

Judy Mikelski was born with a long list of maladies. The official diagnoses are autism, epilepsy, cystic fibrosis, developmental delays, including speech, gross and fine motor skills, Duane’s syndrome in her right eye, bilateral club foot and attention deficit disorder. And most recently diabetes from the cystic fibrosis.

Judy and her grandmother, Gerri Mikelski, stopped by Holy Rosary School Monday to accept the donation.

Judy needs a specially trained therapy dog to make her grandparents, who are raising her, aware if she is having a seizure. The dog would also offer companionship and supervision and would be tethered to her to keep her from wandering.

This type of dog costs in excess of $13,000, and the Mikelski family reached out to the community for help.

The fundraiser, “Jeans for Judy” was held on April 9. Each student was asked to bring in $1 (more was accepted to beef up the school’s donation). For the $1, students were allowed to “dress down” and wear jeans.

On hand Monday were St. John the Evangelist pastor Monsignor John Bendik, who helped raise funds for the Mikelskis. Also, Holy Rosary School Principal Candice Lee, who allowed the “Jeans for Judy,” where students had the opportunity to wear jeans instead of uniforms for a day with a donation made to 4 Paws for Abilities, the group that will train the dog specially for Judy. Donations ranged from $1 to hundreds of dollars, and every single dollar made a difference, Berlew said.