Space that offers parties for sick children in jeopardy of closing
A foundation that helps sick and underprivileged children may be forced to close a center that provides free entertainment and parties.
The John Theissen Children's Foundation in Wantagh provides hospitals and child-care facilities with therapeutic and recreational equipment. It also supports families with financial assistance to defray medical expenses, offers sick and needy children toys throughout the holiday season and tries to fulfill patient's wish lists throughout the year.
The foundation's Family Fun Center has been open for 11 years, but founder John Theissen says the center's lease is up in June. Theissen says because donations and funding are at an all-time low, he is not sure if he can keep the center open.
Theissen, who had surgery and radiation after a brain tumor, says he needs $50,000 by June 30 to pay for a year of rent.
Monica Sanchez, of Wantagh, says John Theissen and his foundation supported her family during a challenging and difficult time.
Her 11-year-old son Joshua, who is now healthy, was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 4 years old. Joshua says his favorite place is the John Theissen Family Fun Center.
Sanchez says if the center closed it would be a tragedy for all the families that the foundation helps,
"Smiles and laughter are healing, and he gave that to him so many times," she says.