Casey Will Not Be Forgotten

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

Casey (center) and Melissa Zirolli (L) and Amber Staska – Senior Week 2006

July 17, 2019 marked the tenth anniversary of Casey’s death. In conjunction with Casey’s “angelversary”, so many people have reached out to us privately and on social media to share their memories of Casey and how important she was to them.  Many people, including those who who never even met Casey, expressed how she had inspired them. Accordingly, we found the following article written nine years ago by Casey’s father, Joel Feldman to be relevant today.

By Joel Feldman

Originally published JANUARY 31, 2010  in Recovering From a Tragic Loss

In the days after Casey died and leading up to her funeral I started to realize what a positive impact she had on so many people. Some of her colleagues at the Fordham Observer wrote me and told me how Casey had influenced them. One told me how Casey had shown her that everyone has a story and if you just take the time to listen, you will hear that story and can communicate that you value what the other has to say. Another told me that Casey was dogged in her reporting, fearless when it came to getting the story, but also honest and fair. Another admired how Casey was able to work so hard but also have a good time. Another that Casey took the extra effort to welcome others and try to make them feel comfortable. Many of these “Casey stories” were told at the funeral. Following the funeral there were more and more letters and e-mails which touched me profoundly and gave me hope that Casey would be remembered and that many people would carry a little bit of Casey with them. One of the associates at my law firm, after attending the funeral, wrote the following:

I feel compelled to write to you and your family as I was never so touched by anything like I was yesterday. While I did not know Casey personally, and felt like an intruder at first at the service, I left with an overwhelming feeling of her spirit and love and I now believe that one person can make a difference toward making a kinder more gentle world. The words from you, your family and Casey’s friends were beautiful and made me feel like I should work toward becoming the best that I can be, as it was clear that Casey did herself.

I pray that her wonderful spirit and the celebration of her life, and how it has touched even the remote of persons, can assist your family in this difficult time. My best to you all …

Another dear friend recalled how Casey, then age 10 or 11 had comforted her 5 year old son at our firm’s Bring Your Child To Work Day and stated that she had not been aware of Casey’s accomplishments in her short life but wondered whether many of the older folks in attendance at the funeral had done as much for others as Casey. She felt that Casey had “lived big, enjoying life fully, but had also given big to others.” She questioned what she was waiting for and said that she believed that not a day would go by where she would not think of Casey and, as a result, would try to do better in her life.

I recall feeling that it was so unfair to Casey and to all that loved her that she had been taken from us at such a young age. I had always looked into the future and thought about Casey and my son Brett growing up and how lucky I was to have them and was looking forward to a changing relationship with them. Casey was gone and what would would be left? All the cards and kind words kept saying memories – that’s what you will have – wonderful memories – but it really was not much solace for me then. I wanted Casey to be alive for Casey and for me and she was dead. Slowly it came to me that through Casey’s influence on others, her love for others and their love for her, Casey would live on. She would not be forgotten – my biggest fear. Every time someone told me how Casey had influenced and changed them for the better, or every “because of Casey I will…” gave me the hope that she would live on.

Casey Feldman Foundation Volunteer Day of Service 2018

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

It was another beautiful, annual Day of Service to honor Casey’s memory on the 9th anniversary (July 17th) of her death. A group of about 45 friends, family and supporters gathered at Providence Animal Center in Media, PA where so many of the Feldman family pets have been adopted throughout the years. Service projects included laying wood chips on the dog trail, deep cleaning the crates in the temporary dog space, emptying the donation trailer, reorganizing the food shed and breaking down and reassembling shelving. We know that Casey was with us in spirit and grateful for all who showed up to benefit the many dogs and cats at the Center who are waiting for their forever homes. The Feldman family is deeply grateful for all of the love and support received!

Click here to view all of the photos from the day. 

Click here to view the annual photo galleries from our Day of Service since 2010. 

Join Us On July 15th for our Annual Day of Service in Honor of Casey

Friday, June 15th, 2018

Casey and her beloved Nikki

This July 17th will mark nine years since Casey Feldman was killed by a distracted driver. Every year around the time of Casey’s “Angelversary”, we honor her memory by inviting family, friends and supporters to gather for a day of volunteer service. This year’s Day of Service has been scheduled for the second year in a row at Providence Animal Center, 555 Sandy Bank Road in Media, PA and will take place on Sunday, July 15th from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm. Snacks, drinks and lunch will be provided. Service activities will include ground maintenance and volunteers are asked to bring gardening gloves, hand tools and any power tools such as weed whackers, blowers and hedge trimmers. All are welcome to join us as we honor Casey’s memory and her love of animals on this special day of community service.

As an animal lover, Casey was a huge supporter of shelters and adoption of pets. Providence Animal Center is a no-kill shelter and was the former Delaware County SPCA. Many of the Feldman family pets were adopted there. In 2017, Providence AC adopted a record 4,002 cats and dogs into forever homes. They also prevent future pet overpopulation through community programs including low-cost public veterinary and behavioral services, humane law enforcement and education and pet food pantries.

In addition to the Day of Service, the Casey Feldman Foundation has supported the Center through its sponsorship of a cat Spay Day for the second year in a row as well as its sponsorship of a kennel.

Note: Parking is limited so volunteers are encouraged to carpool. 

RSVP by Wednesday, July 11th by email to [email protected] or text or call Dianne Anderson at 610-659-6995. We need a headcount in advance for food and for scheduling projects!

If you cannot attend, consider donating to the Casey Feldman Foundation.

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View all of the photos from our 2017 Day of Service at Providence AC

Read the July 2017 Providence AC blog article, The Casey Feldman Foundation’s Day of Service

Matt Thornton and his mother, Betty, washing tables at the 2017 Day of Service at Providence AC

Springfield High School alumni including Ericha Mary Grace, Emilee Rose Grace, Stephanie Eklund and Bridget Clawson with Casey’s parents, Joel Feldman & Dianne Anderson at the 2017 Day of Service

Rachael and Samantha Kemmey working on trail maintenance at last year’s Day of Service

All Invited – Casey Feldman Day of Service, July 16th

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Day of ServiceFriends, family and supporters are invited to gather and provide a day of service at Providence Animal Center, 555 Sandy Bank Road, Media PA honoring Casey on the 8th anniversary of her death. The event will take place on Sunday, July 16, 2017 from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm.  Projects will include fence repair and installation, staining outdoor furniture, and trail maintenance. Snacks, drinks and lunch will be provided. The event is open to the public.

Casey was an animal lover and a huge supporter of shelters and adoption of pets. Providence Animal Center is a no-kill shelter and was the former Delaware County SPCA. Many of the Feldman family pets were adopted there. In addition to saving over 3,800 animals in 2016, they prevent future pet overpopulation through community programs including pet food pantries, low-cost public veterinary and behavioral services and humane education and law enforcement.

Bring your gardening gloves and any gardening tools that you may have and join us in honoring Casey’s memory on this special day of community service.

Note: Parking is limited so volunteers are encouraged to carpool. Please park on the gravel lots on either side of the building.

RSVP by July 12th  – Text or call Dianne Anderson at 610-659-6995 or respond on the Facebook Event page.

If you cannot attend, consider donating to the Casey Feldman Foundation! 

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Related Links:

All articles on our previous days of service (scroll down)

Photo Gallery – Photos from our previous days of service

 

 

Another great day of service on Casey’s 6th “angelversary”

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

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It was another great year of service on Casey’s 6th “angelversary”  at Magee Rehabilitation  Hospital in Philadelphia with approximately 35 or so supporters.  Our Casey Feldman Foundation volunteers performed chores such as gardening, outdoor cleanup, washing the Magee vans and doing paperwork.  A lunchtime ceremony followed with Casey’s parents, Joel and Dianne highlighting some of the Foundation’s work and Magee’s Mark Chilutti explaining the future expansion project for the patient therapy center. In addition, occupational therapist Christine  Reinheimer provided the volunteers with a demonstration of just how significant the Casey Foundation’s sponsored facility dog, Joey, has made in the lives of patients.

View all of the photos from the 2015 day of service here in the Casey Feldman Photo Gallery.

See what the Casey Feldman Foundation has accomplished in its first 5 years, “Five Years – A Legacy of Good”. 

 

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Casey Feldman’s 5th “Angelversary”

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Ken Garrity

By Dianne L. Anderson

July 17th marked the 5th anniversary of Casey’s death. We continue to honor her life and memory especially on the annual anniversary,  through a day of service surrounded by family and friends. Those unable to attend the Philadelphia area event remember Casey in their own special way on Casey’s “angelversary”.

The Casey Feldman Foundation was established to “give back”, so that Casey’s life would continue to make a difference in the lives of others. The 5th anniversary was no different, helping the patients at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia – individuals recovering from life altering trauma as a result of brain and spinal injuries or stroke. Volunteers did weeding and gardening, parking lot and grounds cleanup, moving of file boxes up the steps in assembly line fashion from the basement, among other chores.

Nancy Chester (L) and Scott and Betty Thornton

Since Casey was an animal lover, each year of service has incorporated this one of her many passions. The Casey Feldman Foundation established Magee’s first facility dog who works along side patients in their occupational therapy. To be distinguished from a service or therapy dog, this highly trained 4-legged “therapist” knows over 70 different commands, and assists patients with balance,  movements such as bending and grasping a ball to play fetch, and motivates them to do more during their physical therapy.

A special lunch time ceremony took place and volunteers were able to watch Joey at work with a patient and see a power point presentation by his handler, occupational therapist Christina Yulo Rinehimer, which featured Joey working with many different patients on a variety of skills.

Danielle Gibson and her little "sister"

Friends and family also heard from Casey’s parents and watched the moving “Remembering Casey” video produced by Casey’s father within the first few months of her death. It features Casey’s friends and family talking about Casey and how they have changed as a result of this life altering tragedy.

We continue to be blessed and humbled by the kindness, love and generosity of so many wonderful people who support The Casey Feldman Foundation in multiple ways.  We are also particularly grateful to those who volunteer their time to join us annually on the anniversary of Casey’s death.  It makes the day a bit easier surrounded by family and friends who join us to honor Casey in such a special way.

A patient works on his manual dexterity by brushing Joey's teeth

I, Casey’s mother,  as well as Casey’s father, Joel Feldman and her brother, Brett Feldman, are extremely grateful and thank all of you, without whose support we could not have have accomplished all that we have done in Casey’s memory these last 5 years.

Links:

Photos from the 2014 Day of Service

Because of Casey: Remembering & Celebrating One Woman’s Life & Legacy, Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, July, 2014

Click here and scroll down to view the articles with links to press coverage, photos and videos, for all of the annual days of service.

Photos from all of the annual days of service

Some of the friends and family volunteers pose for a group photo at Magee

 

 

Join Us – The Casey Feldman Foundation’s 5th Annual Day of Service on Casey’s “Angelversary”: July 17, 2014

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Casey's dad, Joel with Joey and his trainer, Christina at Magee last July 17th

This year’s day of service for Casey Feldman’s fifth “Angelversary” will take place at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, 1513 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. It has become an annual event on the anniversary of Casey’s death to perform a day of service in her honor and memory. Since Casey was an animal lover and animal rights advocate, the service thus far has included this aspect of her many passions.

Through the support of the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation, Magee established its first Facility Dog program, in 2012, adding a new official member to the Magee team, Ford, the Golden Retriever.

Last year, the Casey Feldman Foundation, together with Anapol Schwartz (Casey’s dad, Joel’s law firm), sponsored Magee’s second therapy dog, Joey, a Labrador Retriever/ Golden Retriever mix (View the photos from the 2013 Day of Service and the video below). “Anapol Schwartz has supported so many of our activities following Casey’s death and we are so appreciative of that support”, said Joel.

Through Magee’s Facility Dog program, Joey works alongside trained health and human service professionals to support patients in their therapy and facilitate the rehabilitation process. This program will be recognized as part of the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation’s fifth annual “Angelversary” Day of Service.

Family, friends and supporters of Casey and the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation are invited to provide a few hours of service at Magee and watch Joey in action as he leads patients in therapy sessions.  Service projects for the morning include filing, gardening, cleaning the parking lot and cleaning windows.  A lunch time ceremony will take place at 12:30 pm and  the day will conclude at 2:00 pm.

Watch the video from last year’s day of service and see below to RSVP.

Please join us on July 17th for our 5th annual Casey Feldman Day of Service to honor Casey’s life and memory by giving back to others. RSVP by Tuesday, July 15th at The Casey Feldman Network’s Facebook Event or Dianne’s Facebook Event, text or call Dianne 610-659-6995, or, respond to the event on the Casey Feldman Network website.

Please also consider making a donation in honor of Casey’s life and memory, so that we may continue the good work of the Foundation.

Related Links:

Photos from the 2013 Day of Service

Video of the 2013 Day of Service

CBS TV news coverage/ 2012 Day of Service

ABC TV news coverage/2012 Day of Service

Magee Rehab Teams Up with Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation for Facility Dog Program

Photos from the 2012 Day of Service

Join Us: July 17, 2013, Day of Service at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital on Casey’s 4th “Angelversary”

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Casey Feldman

This year’s day of service for Casey Feldman’s  fourth “Angelversary” will take place at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, 1513 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. It has become an annual event on the anniversary of Casey’s death to perform a day of service in her honor and memory. Since Casey was an animal lover and animal rights advocate, the service thus far has included this aspect of her many passions.

Through the support of the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation, Magee  established its first Facility Dog program, in 2012, adding a new official member to the Magee team, Ford, the Golden Retriever.

This year, the Casey Feldman Foundation, together with Anapol Schwartz (Casey’s dad, Joel’s law firm), has sponsored Magee’s  second therapy dog, Joey, a Labrador Retriever/ Golden Retriever mix. “Anapol Schwartz has supported so many of our activities following Casey’s death and we are so appreciative of that support”, said Joel.

Through Magee’s Facility Dog program, Joey works alongside trained health and human service professionals to support patients in their therapy and facilitate the rehabilitation process. This program will be recognized as part of the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation’s fourth annual “Angelversary” Day of Service.

Casey's brother, Brett, meeting Joey at Magee in May

Family, friends and supporters of Casey and the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation are invited to provide a few hours of service at Magee  and watch Joey in action as he leads patients in therapy sessions.  Service projects for the morning include filing, weeding the gardens, cleaning the parking lot and cleaning windows.  A lunch time ceremony will  take place at 12:30 pm and  the day will conclude at 2:00 pm.

Please RSVP by Monday, July 15th to join us on July 17th  at Casey Feldman Network Event or to Dianne Anderson, Casey Feldman’s mom, at 610-659-6995, or [email protected] or on Dianne’s Facebook Event.

Related Links:

[email protected], July 16, 2013: Because of Casey: Magee’s Facility Dog Program

CBS News Coverage 2012: Health: Dog Therapy To Honor Casey,

Previous articles regarding the annual “Day of Service”

Magee Rehabilitation Hospital

The Anapol Schwartz Foundation

 

Casey’s Love of Animals Will Make a Difference for Patients at Local Rehabilitation Hospital

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

 

Casey loved animals, especially dogs. She understood how a dog’s unconditional love could make a difference in the lives of people. Casey also valued service-reaching out to help others.

Continuing the tradition of performing service on the anniversary of Casey’s death, on July 17th about forty of Casey’s friends and family gathered at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia and performed clean up services and work in the greenhouse and gardens, and learned about the latest gift from the Casey Feldman Foundation.

Magee showed off the talents of the newest member of its renowned occupational therapy team, Ford. Ford is an 8 year old Golden Retriever who is a highly trained facility therapy dog, the first in Magee’s history.   Support for Ford was provided by the Casey Feldman Foundation.

Mike Monheit (L) and Casey’s father, Joel Feldman performing cleanup work at Magee

Ford will work with patients recovering from strokes, spinal cord and brain injuries and amputations. Ford helps in all aspects of occupational therapy, including subtly increasing patient’s motivation to work a little harder despite pain. Among an incredible amount of tasks that Ford can perform are taking a patients’ socks off, picking up and delivering  to the patient all kinds of objects, including shoes, opening  and closing cabinets, pulling wheelchairs , turning  on and off lights  and providing  much-needed reassurance and stability for patients attempting their first steps.

“We are incredibly grateful and sincerely honored that the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation chose to remember Casey through the support of this innovative program,” said Jack Carroll, President and CEO of Magee Rehabilitation Hospital. “Animal-assisted therapy is yet another way we can provide our patients with the highest quality care to help them achieve their goals and improve their outcomes, and is something we could not have done without the Foundation’s generous support.”

Casey’s friend, Phil Knasiak beauifying the garden at Magee

During a lunch time ceremony the occupational therapists who work with Ford, Cate Dorr and Christine Rineheimer,  described Ford’s integral role in occupational therapy and said that they were already seeing measurable improvements in patient’s progress who were working with Ford. Some of the patients who had worked with Ford described his gentle and loving presence and said it was comforting to have Ford with them as they began to adapt to new lives following life-altering illnesses and injuries.

Casey’s father, Joel Feldman, said “Magee is a special place where those who have devastating injuries begin to learn that there is a way forward and that there is hope. Having friends and family with us, Ford, and all the other loving and supportive staff at Magee is a perfect way to remember Casey.”

Friends and family gather for a group shot at Magee on July 17th

 

View photos from the day of service.

Related Links:

Photos from the day of service

CBS TV news coverage 

ABC TV news coverage

Magee Teams With Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation For Facility Dog Program

Not your typical physical therapist, Philly.com

Magee Rehabilitation Hospital

 

 

 

Casey Feldman July 17, 2012 Day of Service Scheduled at Magee Rehabiltation Hospital

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Ford with his trainers at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital

This year’s day of service for Casey Feldman’s third “Angelversary” will take place at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, 1513 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Through the support of the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation, Magee has established its first Facility Dog program, adding a new official member to the Magee team: Ford, the Golden Retriever. Through Magee’s Facility Dog program, Ford works alongside trained health and human service professionals to support patients in their therapy and facilitate the rehabilitation process. This program will be recognized as part of the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation’s third annual “Angelversary” Day of Service.

Family, friends and supporters of Casey and the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation are invited to provide a few hours of service and  watch Ford in action as he leads patients in therapy sessions.  A lunch time ceremony will be included.

Read the article posted by Magee about Ford and the upcoming day of service.

Please RSVP to Dianne Anderson, Casey Feldman’s mother at 610-659-6995 or at [email protected].