The Guma Foundation will host its 14th annual Casino Night on Feb. 24 at LaReggia’s Restaurant to once again raise money for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Proceeds from the 7 p.m. event will go to the Tomorrow’s Children’s Fund at Hackensack University Medical Center, which provides financial and emotional support for children undergoing treatment and their families.
The Guma Foundation, which was founded in 1991 to honor the lives of the late Ralph Guma Sr. and Ralph Guma, Jr., initially set out to award scholarships to high school seniors. However, the focus of the nonprofit shifted to helping children with cancer in 2000. To date, the foundation has contributed more than $100,000 to the Tomorrow’s Children’s Fund.
“My sons and I, with family and friends’ support, committed the foundation to providing at least $10,000 annually to the Tomorrow’s Children’s Fund,” said Pat Guma, the matriarch of the family and president of The Guma Foundation.
Tickets to the Feb. 24 event are $125 per person for an evening of casino-style gaming with casino chips, open bar and buffet, prizes and music.
The Guma Foundation’s emphasis on children with brain tumors honors Ralph Guma Jr., who was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 9, but went on to earn a college degree and lead a productive life to age 33.
“In 2008, The Tomorrow’s Children’s Foundation designated a room at HUMC so families could visit with their children outside their hospital rooms,” Pat Guma said. “The Foundation provided couches, iPads, a big screen TV and a 100-gallon salt water fish tank. The hospital named it ‘Ralphy’s Room’ with the notation, ‘He represented the achiever and fighter in all of us,'” Guma said.
“We understand the entire family is affected by a child’s illness and that anything that restores some normalcy to the family is a worthwhile contribution,” Guma added.
To purchase tickets to the Casino Night fundraiser, RSVP with a payment to The Guma Foundation, Inc., at 107 Huber St., Secaucus, N.J. 07094 by Feb. 11. Tickets also can be purchased on line at www.gumafoundationinc.org.
La Reggia is located in the Meadowlands Plaza Hotel at 40 Wood Ave. in Secaucus.