COLTS NECK – The Ocean Place Resort in Long Branch will be the site of the Feb. 9 Ashley Lauren Foundation’s second annual Butterfly Ball.
Guests will gather to honor business owners, Tommy and Yvette Bonfiglio and an evening of fine food, drink and entertainment while raising funds and increasing awareness of The Ashley Lauren Foundation’s mission to provide hope and help for Children with Cancer in New Jersey.
The event is being chaired by Victoria Ali. The honorary chair is one of The Ashley Lauren Foundation children, Emily Braisted.
In addition to dinner and dancing, guests will be able to bid on many unique auction items graciously donated by supporters of The Ashley Lauren Foundation. Funds raised by the Butterfly Ball will support the programs of the foundation including: direct family assistance to help with household bills; bills and medications not paid through medical insurance; traveling expenses to and from hospitals; funeral expenses; material assistance for food, clothing, household items; emotional support; parties for the children; advocacy; outings; birthday and holiday gifts for the children; the “Making Dreams Come True” Program; and anything else that is needed to make their lives easier and to let each child know that they are important.
The Ashley Lauren Foundation does not fund research but is instead “in the trenches” with these families as they cope with the daily battle of pediatric cancer.
The Bonfiglios, who are being honored, are the owners of Tommy’s Coal Fired Pizza in Red Bank, Ocean Township and Brick. They live in Monmouth Beach with their two daughters, Andrea and Christina.
“My whole life, I have always strived for more – more for my career, my family, more out of my life,” said Tommy Bonfiglio. “When my wife introduced me to The Ashley Lauren Foundation and its founder/executive director, Monica Vermeulen, I realized that all of my hard work could be put to more good than I thought possible. With the help of my wonderful staff and family, we have built a relationship with this foundation that can never be broken. I have never seen my wife happier and that is because she is doing something she loves to do – helping others. Like many people, I always wanted to do my part and put my hard work to good use, but unlike many people, my wife and I actually did it. Thanks to Monica and The Ashley Lauren Foundation, I was introduced to the gift of giving and how good it feels to help someone who truly needs and deserves it.”
Yvette Bonfiglio said, “We all know that cancer has touched the lives of many people and affected many families throughout the world. I am so grateful that through my restaurants, I can really help some of these families make their battle a little bit easier. I love children and when an illness like cancer affects a child, it hits me right in my soft spot. All I want to do is make these kids laugh, play, smile and enjoy their youth.
“No child deserves to have such precious, carefree years taken away from them. If I can give some of those precious, carefree moments back to them, well, then I have succeeded,” Yvette Bonfiglio said. “I have Monica and the Ashley Lauren Foundation to thank for this wonderful gift they have given me. Without them, I would not be using my time wisely. I now feel that every minute spent with these children or doing something for these children is time well spent. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Tickets for the Butterfly Ball, sponsorship opportunities and additional information are available by visiting www.ashleylaurenfoundation.org or calling 732-414-1625.