LMG comes together to help the Halpern family

Feb 14, 2019 by

Casino Night set for March 8

Published February 13, 2019

By GAIL LOWE

 LYNNFIELD — Seven-year-old Sam Halpern is a fighter, and the Lynnfield Moms Group is ready to help his fight.

After contracting a rare streptococcus infection a year ago, Sam, the oldest child of Joseph and Michelle Halpern, fought the best he could. Unfortunately, he was unable to overcome the devastating consequences of his illness.

Sam lost both legs below the knee plus his right hand and ended up on life support. He survived only through a strong course of antibiotics and an even stronger support system that includes his family, friends and the Lynnfield community. Early in his illness, the little boy spent two months at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Boston where he learned to use prosthetics and build strength.

“Now he is trying to live life in his new normal,” said LMG Public Relations Co-Director Elissa Cooper said. “Sam is coping incredibly well. He is a happy, strong and resilient young boy.”

Cooper said Sam continues to participate in karate, T-ball and other sports he enjoyed before his illness.

THE LYNNFIELD MOMS GROUP is planning Casino Night for the benefit of Sam Halpern, 7, and his family on Friday, March 8 at Crystal Community Club in Wakefield. Last year, Sam contracted a rare streptococcus infection that caused the loss of his right hand and the lower portion of both legs. Proceeds from the event will help with Sam’s medical expenses. (Courtesy Photo)

“He is fully integrated in his regular school class, and he is very accepted by all of his peers,” said Cooper.

Support is so strong for Sam that the LMG recently met to talk about how they might help and now plans are in place for a Casino Night fundraiser. The event will be held at the Crystal Community Club on Preston Street in Wakefield, starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 8. Ticket prices are $100 per couple or $60 for a single ticket.

Attendees are asked to wear semiformal attire such as cocktail dresses and suits.

Proceeds from the event will help with expenses associated with Sam’s care.

Michelle Halpern said she, her husband and Sam’s siblings, 5-year-old Benjamin and 3-year-old Carmela, are “extremely grateful” for the support they have received from the LMG and the entire community.

“We are humbled beyond words,” Michelle said.

Cooper said the LMG is honored to help Sam and his family.

“The LMG board does an annual fundraiser every year,” said Cooper. “We try to do something festive and exciting that the community would like to take part in. A board member came up with this idea and we ran with it.”

Cooper said any excess funds will go toward purchasing Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) equipment for one of Lynnfield’s playgrounds. She said this goal will likely be part of LMG’s 2019-2020 initiative for Jordan Park.

“An actual play structure of some sort is our goal,” said Cooper “We plan to have funds put into the playground structure in Sam’s name.”

Cooper said, “The community has been incredible with supporting the Halperns.”

“Summer Street School just installed ADA swings, and many from the community donated to their Go Fund Me page,” said Cooper. “Still, Sam will have ongoing medical bills and needs his whole life.”

As Sam continues to grow, so will his medical needs. For instance, the funds raised will go toward the special prosthetics he will need to play the sports he loves such as a baseball glove-shaped prosthetic.

“Insurance does not cover these and they are expensive,” said Cooper.

The LMG is also raising funds to cover the cost for Sam to attend Camp No Limits this summer. Camps No Limits, an organization that serves children with disabilities, has camps in Maine, Missouri, Maryland, Florida, Idaho, Arizona, Texas, California and Connecticut.

The Casino Night fundraiser will have volunteer dealers on hand who will teach participants how to play games like craps and blackjack. There will also be roulette and a money wheel. Prizes will be given to the top three table winners. In addition, there will be a balloon raffle and silent auction.

Local vendors will be providing hors d’oeuvres and desserts. There will be a cash bar as well.

The fundraiser’s vendors include Total Entertainment, Cerra’s Market and Spinelli’s. The Casino Night’s sponsors are MarketStreet Lynnfield, Axle Color Salon and the DiVirgilio family.

Additional sponsors include Wakefield Co-operative Bank, attorney Don Gentile, realtor Anthony Bruno, Nikki Martin Team, the Torigian Family YMCA, Cross Fit Route 1, JM Electrical, Fitness Together, the Dalton and Cook families, Me Time Yoga, Martins Dental Partners and the Clifford family.

The LMG’s Committee members include Vice President Lindsey Weiss and Public Relations Co-Director Sheri Gentile.

“We’ve all been working hard to help the Halpern family,” said Cooper.

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