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Sun., Oct. 4
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Organizers set up fundraiser for Farbotnik children


MASSENA - A holiday fundraiser will be held Dec. 8 for the five children of a Massena businessman who died earlier this month, a year-and-a-half after his wife had also died.

Jodi Burke is organizing the fundraiser for Angela, Neil, Jimmy, Johny and Anna Farbotnik, children of James A. Farbotnik.

It will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus in Massena.

“It’s a family event. Santa will be there. I’d like kids to be able to bring their Christmas list to give to Santa, and parents can take pictures,” Ms. Burke said.

There will also be kid’s crafts, holiday music and refreshments for the guests, as well as either a silent auction or raffle.

“Also, if anybody wants to bake cookies or bring a dish for the party, they’re more than welcome to,” she said.

Ms. Burke said their main goal is to get donations - particularly gift cards for local stores like Walmart, JC Penney and Sears - that can be used by the Farbotnik children once they’re placed and get settled into a new home.

“We’re looking more for donations of gift cards. If there’s any monetary gifts, I’d like to have the checks made out to Angela Farbotnik (age 15 and the eldest child) and Jodi Burke,” she said.

That way, she said, both individuals will have to sign the check before it can be cashed and the funds used.

“I don’t want anybody to send a check in my name and wonder what is she doing with the money. Angela is the oldest child. We’ll both have to sign for it,” Ms. Burke said.

“Gift cards are really going to be appreciated. Gift cards and monetary donations take care of their immediate needs. Donations of clothing at this time, although appreciated, will be accepted at a later date when we know their permanent address because of limited space,” she said.

Businesses are also welcome to donate to the children, Ms. Burke said.

“I’ve told people if they want to drop things off for me at the Knights of Columbus, I’ll be there from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. I will be there at that time to collect all business donations,” she said.

Gift cards and monetary donations can also be sent to Ms. Burke address at 273 South Grasse River Road, Massena, NY 13662.

The fundraiser hasn’t been long in the planning, but there has been plenty of support, she said.

One way she has spread the word is through her Facebook page, where she can also be reached if anyone has questions about the fundraiser.

“It exploded. I have about 800 Facebook friends. They’ve copied and taken it to their Facebook page. In turn, other people copy it and post it. I have people from out of state that are looking to donate,” Ms. Burke said.

It’s brought the community together at a time when the children need it the most, she said.

“Conversations and the people that have come together already shows me how wonderful a community we have. It’s time to come together as a community, show our love and support and give them a new start in life,” she said.

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