2003 Grant Recipients


Fernandez family
Grant $5,400
January , 2003

A grant was issued for $5,400 to the six Fernandez families of Dorchester, MA. whose multi-unit apartment building was ripped apart in flames. Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston generously arranged for two weeks shelter for each family, securing rooms at the Constitution Inn in Charlestown, MA. The grant was given to extend the stay of each family for an additional month to allow them more time to research their living options. The plight of the Fernandez family was brought to the attention of The Weber Foundation by Guardian Angel, Kelly Carey.

Dana Aleman
Grant of Goods $6,490 value
February 28, 2003

A "Grant of Goods" valued at $6,490 has been given to Dana Aleman of Waltham, MA. Dana is the mother of a four month old baby. In January, the home where they were living suffered a horrible fire and the family lost all of their personal belongings, she had no insurance. Once she has established a new residence, her Guardian Angels Richard Gorbaty and Jenifer Adelman of South Natick, MA will deliver a complete bedroom set to her.

Debbie Drebotick
Grant Of Goods $6,370 value
January 14, 2003

A "Grant of Goods" valued at $6,370, has been given to Debbie Drebotick of Long Island, N.Y. Debbie is a single mother of two teenage children. In early December, the home that she was renting had a devastating fire and burnt to the ground. Debbie and her family lost everything, and they had no fire insurance. This past weekend, The Weber Foundation has had a complete dining room set delivered to Debbie at her new apartment in Long Island. Her Guardian Angel is Margie Leather of Monroe, N.Y.

Gina Gauvin
April 5, 2003

Gina of Worcester, MA is also one of the few survivors from the destructive fire that blazed through the Station Night Club in Rhode Island. Gina is a single mother of three; two girls ages 18 and 7 and a son 5. Gina’s condition is critical. 70% of her body is covered in third degree burns; she is fighting pneumonia and a bacterial infection in her blood. She has been given a 20% chance of survival. She is still hospitalized at Umass Memorial in Worcester. Gina Gauvin's Guardian Angel Joan Jordan along with her daughter, Heather and her two sisters were presented with a grant of $15,000 to help Gina with the VERY extensive medical care that awaits her and will help with the care of her 3 children.

Matthew and Melissa Bastianelli
Grant $2,500
February 28, 2003

On February 28, 2003 a grant was issued for $2,500 to Lucia and John Bastianelli of Newton, MA whose twin children Matthew and Melissa have spastic cerebral palsy. The grant has been given to purchase a gate keeper for the children to assist with their mobility. Insurance does not cover this expense. The check will be presented to the family by Guardian Angel, Jean M. Pappas of Woburn, MA.

Jean Begemann
$3,000 Grant
April 5, 2003

The Weber Foundation was able to help Jean Begemann of Waltham, MA with a $3,000 grant to pay for her health insurance. Jean is a 41- year old woman who is currently in North Carolina awaiting a double lung transplant; she suffers from Cystic Fibrosis. Her mother and Sarah Conklin of COTA are her Guardian Angels.

Nicholas Murray
$3,000 grant
April 5, 2003

Nicholas is a 3 year old boy from Bloomington, MN, who is suffering from autism spectrum and chronic intestinal and allergy issues. He is on a very strict diet and has to take an enormous amount of supplements each day. Due to the fact that insurance does not cover his requirements, The Weber Foundation of Helping Hands decided to help little Nicholas get the help he needs. His Guardian Angel is Laurjie Lundgren of St. Paul, MN.

Timothy Garringer
$6,000 Grant
April 5, 2003

Timothy Garringer of Fall River, MA is 3 years old. At the age of 2 he was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer. His family has had its share of hardship. In 1996 they lost their 9-year old daughter to leukemia. Kimberly Garringer, Timothy’s mom, had to quit her job to take care of him. Timothy is still undergoing treatment and will continue to be monitored for the rest of his life. The Weber Foundation of Helping Hands presented the Garringer family with a grant in the amount of $6,000 to help with his nutritional needs and other medical-related expenses. Timothy’s Guardian Angel is Lisa Mallioux. Lisa is the co-founder of “United We Dance”. “United We Dance” had a fundraiser in early March for Timothy and The Weber Foundation matched what they raised.

Adam Florio
$10,000 Grant
April 5, 2003

Adam Florio is one of the survivors of the devastating fire at the Station Night Club in West Warwick, Rhode Island, which claimed the lives of so many. Adam is a 27 year old from Coventry, RI. Unfortunately, Adam’s 31 year old sister Rachel, who was with him that evening, lost her life in that fire. Adam received second degree burns to his head, face and back and third degree burns to his ears. He suffered severe smoke inhalation, searing his lungs. He is having a difficult time recovering. Adam was presented with a grant for $10,000 to help cover his living and medical expenses during his extended time away from his job.

Emily Demenkow
$5,000 Grant
April 5, 2003

Emily, of Melrose, MA is a four year old child suffering from Leukemia. She and her parents were living at Camp Pendleton, a military base in California when her father Sean, a Sargeant in the First Light Armored Recon Division was called to serve our country. The family was not able to have Emily treated at a Children’s hospital due to military restrictions. Emily’s mother Annie wanted to move back to Massachusetts so they could be near the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and their families during this difficult time. The Weber Foundation is helping with the move so that little Emily can get the best possible care and also helping with her rent since the military’s allowance is not sufficient to cover all of her rent here. At the present time Emily’s father Sean is waiting to be deployed and is on a 48-hour watch. His group is currently in Kabul where Sean was in August but returned to the States when his daughter went into a coma. On her behalf, Emily’s Guardian Angel’s; her aunt Jenn Wallace and her mother Annie were presented with a grant in the amount of $5,000.

Arthur Lincoln
Grant $5,000
May, 2003

A grant has been issued for $5,000 to Arthur. He and his wife Carol had to sell their home of over 25 yrs to build an in-law-suite with his daughter. Arthur at the age of 55 suffers from a severe condition, which no longer allows him the ability to function as we do. The diabetes, severe cardiac problems and peripheral vascular disease have caused him and his family a great deal of stress and financial burdens.

He has just recently suffered the loss of his left leg due to the severe condition of the diabetes. Arthur still needs to have another by-pass surgery on his right leg in order to get blood flow down to the foot. Then here will be yet another surgery to remove a few of his toes. Arthur has dialysis 3 times a week, besides several doctors appointments on a weekly basis, which makes it hard to get back and forth from his home to the hospital. His wife Carol is always trying to find someone that can carry him to the car and back. Because of the grant Arthur will be able to purchase the motorized scooter, which will allow him the independence and sense of freedom he so desires. The grant has added a New Hope from the burdens of his illness. His guardian Angel is his sister, Diana.

Lori Valenti
Grant $2,400
May 19, 2003

Lori is a 25 year old woman from Wakefield, MA. Lori is suffering from a very rare disease, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome which is a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. Lori was presented with a grant for $2,400.00 to help with her uncovered medical expenses for six months. Her guardian angel is Jeannie Joseph.

Alysia Alexandra Kattany
Grant $4,000
September 12, 2003

Alysia is a 23 year old woman from Marlboro, MA who was diagnosed with an extremely rare cancerous tumor at the base of her brain. Her cancer is called chondrosarcoma. She was presented with a $4,000.00 grant at our golf tournament. This grant is to pay for her travel expenses to undergo treatment in Denver, Colorado as well as pay for some of her uncovered medical and living expenses. Her guardian angel is William Crowley.

Joseph Jones

Grant $6,000
September 12, 2003

Joseph is a 27 year old man from Nantucket, MA who was diagnosed with acute lymphobast leukemia. Joseph was given a grant at our golf tournament. Because Joseph does not have medical insurance he has been forced to place himself into a medical study for leukemia so that he can be treated. This grant is to help Joseph with his medical expenses due to lack of insurance and inability to work. His guardian angels are David Provencher and Ozzie Medeiros.  


Nichols family
Grant $5,300
September 17, 2003

This grant was given to the Nichols family of Springfield, MA. to build a handicapped ramp necessary for their 8 year old child who has severe disabilities. Dad, Steven Nichols is currently in the 325th Army Reserve Transportation Unit in Iraq. (Freedom Fund)

Trinity Hope Matthews
Grant $5,000
October 2003

As a result of our 2nd Annual "Angels on Foot" Walk/Road Race a grant was issued to four month old Trinity Hope Matthews from Concord, New Hampshire. Trinity was born with a heart defect and was recently released from the hospital. This grant is to help alleviate some of Trinity's nursing expenses. Trinity's guardian angels are Bob Cavanaugh and Mark Alliotti.

Julienne Rabor
Grant $5,000
November 2, 2003

A $5,000.00 Grant was given to Julienne Rabor, from Goleta, CA. Julienne has stage 4 renal cell carcinoma. The grant is to help her with uncovered medical expenses as well as travel expenses to participate in a clinical trial at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Julienne's guardian angel is Alice Zinkevich.

Eddie Saliba
Grant $4,055
December 2003

On December 17, 2003 a grant in the amount of $4,055.00 was given to Edmond & Margie Saliba from Braintree, Ma. The Salibas' son, Eddie is 11 years old suffering from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy which is a progressive debilitating muscle wasting disease that has left him confined to a wheelchair. Due to Eddie's size, and he keeps growing, the family needed a portable, lightweight and easy to use lift. The grant was to help the family purchase a SUREHANDS Life and Care System. Eddie's Guardian Angel is Loni Paul, Director of The Stephen Baum Foundation.

Family of Michelle Brown
Grant $3,000
December 18, 2003

On December 18, 2003, a grant was given to the family of Michelle Brown of Edina, MN., in the amount of $3,000.000. Michelle, age 32 was diagnosed with colon cancer. Her request before she died was that her family goes to see the mountains in Colorado. Unfortunately, Michelle’s condition deteriorated and they were not able to go. We received a letter from Michelle’s family that they were in dire need for Michelle to have hospice care during her last days. The grant paid for Michelle’s hospice care.

On December 16th Michelle passed away at the age of 33. We received a moving letter from Michelle’s sister, Chris. In her letter she writes “ Michelle passed away on December 16th with her family by her side singing a song to her as she took her last breath. It was the most peaceful experience the nursing staff had ever seen. We would not have had this kind of comfort in a nursing home. We ended that day by having the whole family make snow angels in the snow. We are a very spiritual family and knew God would provide for us – and he did! He sent his angels from The Weber Foundation to help us! We love you, the whole Brown Family . Michelle's Guardian Angels are Kris & Craig Salzbrun.

Dana Smith
Grant $2,500
December 19, 2003

On December 19, 2003, we issued a grant in the amount of $2,500.00 to Dana Smith from Scarborough, ME. Mr. Smith is a single father diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. On January 16, 2004, Dana had surgery to remove his Gallbladder and have a biopsy on his Pancreas for fear the cancer has spread. He has been out of work due to his illness and raising his seven year old daughter. Pictured are (left to right) Guardian Angel, Hope Guidi, Catelyn Smith and Dana Smith.