Caitlin Pirl was the victim of a hit-and-run drunk driver, while walking, in 2008. She has to use a wheelchair, is paralyzed on the left side and suffers from severe brain damage. The Pirl family has been struggling with the astronomical costs of copays and medical bills.
When Sandy struck, the Pirl home was inundated with three feet of water, ruining the renovations made to the kitchen and bathroom to accommodate Caitlin’s needs. Already facing a lot of financial hardships, the Pirl family needed help to re-renovate for Caitlin, as well as pay for her medical expenses.
The Jay Dooley Memorial Foundation has planned the run to raise money for the Pirl family for Sunday, Feb. 23. The foundation was founded in 2009, after Jay Dooley’s untimely passing. “Jay was a guys that had the ‘it’ factor. He was very charismatic and had a magnetic personality where he would make people feel special, especially children. However, he never saw himself as others saw him. After years of struggling with Attention Deficit Disorder and anxirty, he took his own life on August 24, 2009,” said Jay’s father, Jerry Dooley.
Jerry Dooley serves as president of JDMF. He said that he hopes to raise a minimum of $10,000 for the Pirl family.
Jerry said that he became aware of the Pirl family’s needs through a friend that was assisting with supplying building materials for the construction of the Pirl family’s home after Sandy. “When I heard Caitlin’s story, I knew immediately that Jay, if he were here with us physically, would have wanted to do something to help,” said Jerry.
“Our cousin Jay would have been one of the first people to jump at the opportunity to help the Pirl family. We are honored to share his spirit of generosity by organizing a JDMF fundraising run/walk in the family’s honor. Jersey Strong is truly the essence of the Pirl family,” said Virginia Dooley.
The Jay Dooley Memorial Foundation hosts all different types of fundraising events from three-on-three basketball events to cocktail parties to silent auctions, said Jerry. Since 2009, JDMF has raised more than $100,000 for struggling individuals and families.
So far, with the support of Shore 2 Recover, local churches, the Robin Hood Foundation and JDMF, the Pirl family has received donations of building materials and services to rebuild their home. JDMF also is seeking funding to assist with the Pirl family’s medical expenses.
Jerry said that Jay’s cousin, Ginnie Dooley, thinks that the run for the Pirl family is a great way for people to beat the winter blues and start on New Year’s resolutions of exercising, all for a great cause.
The run is set for Sunday, Feb. 23 at 3 p.m. at Pier Village in Long Branch. The event will entail a four-mile run or a two-mile walk. Donations can be made on the JDMF website and interested individuals can sign up on the site as well. People participating that raise $150 will receive a JDMF knit hat and complimentary admission to the cocktail party afterward. To attend the cocktail party fundraiser, tickets are $20 per guest or $40 per family. The cocktail party fundraiser includes light fare (cash bar) from 4 to 7 p.m. at McCloone’s Pier in Long Branch.