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

A Day of Service and Remembrance on Casey Feldman’s First ‘Angelversary’ – July 17, 2010

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Bob Gibson, Steve Kennedy, Jason Spector and Brett Feldman (Casey’s brother-front) painting the interior of the shelter

July 17, 2010 marked the one year anniversary of the death of Casey, a  2006 graduate of Springfield High School and Fordham University senior who was struck and killed in a crosswalk last summer in Ocean City, N.J. In keeping with the spirit of this past year in honoring Casey Feldman’s memory in a positive way, the Feldman family and Casey’s friends dedicated the day to service. On her first “angelversary,” many of Casey’s family members and friends, as well as those who never even knew Casey but were inspired by her story, volunteered their time and service in different cities to remember and honor Casey’s life.

Melissa Zirolli, Annette Newlin, Emily Hobson, Joel Feldman and Matt Thornton painting the 2nd floor hallway

On the morning after the dedication of another pink tree to Casey’s memory in Cumberland County, N.J., over 40 volunteers traveled to the Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals in Radnor, PA, including Casey’s parents, Dianne and Joel, and her brother Brett. After the Day of Service, the whole interior of the two story no-kill animal shelter was painted.

Cousin Jamie Gallagher walking a dog at Beacon Animal Rescue on July 17, 2010

Rachel Kemmey, Amber Staska, and Jackie Cahill taking a break from cleaning Springfield parks

“This is a genuinely invaluable gift to Francisvale,”, commented Executive Director, Jodi Button, “The opportunity to put a new face on an over 100 year-old establishment will pay substantial dividends to the animals, volunteers, donors, community partners and staff alike – to say nothing of what a marvelous lift it is to morale.”

At lunch everyone gathered to acknowledge Casey’s contributions to the world, in her life and in her passing, and to dedicate the collaborative act of goodwill to her memory via a plaque that will hang forevermore in a prominent place at Francisvale.

The Chicago cousins baking cookies for the Ronald McDonald house

Casey’s cousin Jamie and Aunt Janice Gallagher remembered Casey by volunteering their time at the Beacon Animal Rescue in Ocean View, N.J. They walked dogs and donated food to the animals, a cause which was close to Casey’s heart.

In Chicago, Casey’s cousins, Drs. Ted and Marie Feldman and their daughters, Tess, Katie, and Julia cooked dinner for 18 families at the Ronald McDonald house. “We proudly wore our pink Casey T-shirts as we cooked and served the meal and we told Casey’s story to the director at the Ronald McDonald house,” the Feldmans said.

In Springfield, Casey’s friends Amber Staska, Rachel Kemmey, and Jackie Cahill organized a more intimate clean-up of three parks in town. The girls recalled fond memories of cleaning up the beaches in Sea Isle City during high school with Casey, and beautified Elson Glenn, Walsh Park, and Library Park in her memory.

Releasing pink balloons into heaven for Casey

The Ceffaratti family, family friends, fed the homeless in Philadelphia. Michael,” We had a wonderful day. We provided at least 75 lunches and lots and lots of ice cold water. We also got to spend time just talking and listening to homeless men and women. Many also asked us to pray with them. They loved our shirts and we were able to share Casey’s story and Casey’s love with them. One homeless woman asked me to bring her a Casey shirt next time. I know that Casey would like that….My mom [Rachael Ceffaratt] couldn’t come to Philly but she wanted to honor Casey, so she paid for the food in Casey’s honor.”

The entire staff at Bob’s Grill in Ocean City, N.J. wore the pink, “I Brake For Pedestrians” t-shirts in Casey’s memory (Casey had been walking to her job at Bob’s Grill last summer at the time of her accident) as did the staff at the 14th St. Bike and Surrey Rental. Visible on the entire fleet of Ocean City Municipal vehicles were the pink, “Stop For Pedestrians” bumper magnets.

Following the day of service, more friends and family gathered at the Feldman’s home in Springfield for dinner and to release some 60 pink balloons into the sky. Casey’s spirit was visible as everyone donned their pink “I Brake for Pedestrians” t-shirts and released a balloon into the heavens with a loving message for Casey.

View more photos from July 17, 2010 in the photo gallery of the Casey Feldman Memories website.  Contribute to the Casey Feldman Foundation and make this world a better place. Visit The Brotherly Love Project to learn more about the efforts of the Cefarratti family and others to feed the needy in Philadelphia.