Bay Ridge

Neighbors band together to help baby with leukemia

Bay Ridge Cares hosts ‘Sweet Sally Sunshine’ fundraiser

October 3, 2013 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Members of Bay Ridge Cares, a volunteer organization that formed last year to help local families who had been burned out of their homes, is now organizing its charitable efforts around the plight of a little girl with a serious illness.

Bay Ridge Cares is holding a “Sweet Sally Sunshine” fundraiser to help the parents of one-year-old Sally Kabel pay for the little girl’s leukemia treatments. The event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Wicked Monk restaurant-bar at 9510 Third Ave., from 2-5 p.m.

Organizers said there will be fun for everyone. A special area will be set up for activities for children. Kids will be able to have their faces painted, create chalk drawings on the sidewalk, take part in arts and crafts, and enjoy balloons, snacks, and music.

The fundraiser will also include an auction with prizes such as a bicycle, a mini-iPad, and tickets to a New York Jets game.

The fundraiser will take place right after the Children’s Ragamuffin Parade on Third Avenue. The parade features children marching in homemade Halloween costumes.

Little Sally was diagnosed with leukemia at 10 months old. “Her road to recovery is expected to be a long, tough, two-year journey,” Bay Ridge Cares founder Justin Brannan said in a statement.

Matt Kabel, the child father, told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle that he and his wife Nicole are overwhelmed by the amount of support the family is receiving. The Kabels also have two sons, Thomas and William and the entire family will be on hand at the fundraiser.

“The support we’ve received from the community has been amazing, from providing meals for our family, to strangers on the street or at soccer practice offering any help they can provide,” he said.

“My wife Nicole is from Brooklyn, but she has always said she is from ‘small town Brooklyn’. Me actually being from a small town outside of Buffalo, never understood what she meant by this, until now,” Kabel said.

“Bay Ridge has really come together through Bay Ridge Cares to organize this event for Sally and help one of their own in need.  All of us Kabels look forward to seeing our ‘small town’ on Saturday so that we can thank them for all they’ve done and am sure will continue to do,” the grateful father said.

For more information on the “Sweet Sally Sunshine” event, visit or

Bay Ridge Cares formed in 2012 in the wake of a devastating fire that forced several families out of their homes on 81st Street in Bay Ridge. The volunteers organized food and clothing drives for the victims.

The group also took part in Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts last fall. Brannan, along with Bay Ridge activists Allison Robicelli and Karen Tadross, organized Bay Ridge Cares Kitchen and led a group of volunteers who prepared and delivered thousands of meals to victims in storm-stricken areas of Brooklyn and Staten Island.

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