A group of Boyertown moms organized Luis Day to raise funds and show support for sixth-grader Luis Maradiaga, 11.
Luis Day is organized by a group of four Boyertown Middle School West moms — Monica Petrous, Shanah Black, Denise Atkinson and Lindsay Carroll — whose sons have shared a friendship with Luis since elementary school.
Recognizing the family’s financial strain due to medical and personal expenses, the group initiated a GoFundMe campaign. In addition, the moms wanted to raise more funds by creating a T-shirt fundraiser featuring shirts designed by Luis to showcase the artistic talent for which he is known.
“The goal of Luis Day is to rally the Boyertown community in support of Luis by showcasing his artwork,” Monica Petrous, one of the moms organizing the fundraising efforts for Luis, shared in a statement compiled with the other moms plus Luis. “This is also a day for Luis to witness the backing of the community, while also raising awareness about both Luis’s health journey and DIPG (diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, a rare and aggressive, inoperable brain tumor).”
Luis Day on March 7 encourages Boyertown Area School District staff and students, as well as community members, to wear their fundraising T-shirts. The proceeds will directly benefit Luis and his family, assisting them with medical and personal expenses. Another way to support Luis is by contributing to the GoFundMe campaign at https://gofund.me/b5dca2ad.
“Luis is the artistic talent behind the shirts being worn on Luis Day,” Petrous said. “Luis and his dad are always told about our ideas ahead of time to make sure they are comfortable with our support. We started with two designs and once Luis saw the image on a shirt he quickly made a third design.”
Local businesses Omega Electric and LHG stepped up to help make the T-shirt fundraiser possible, she said.
“Luis Day continues to develop, with recent partnerships and contributions,” Petrous said.
After hearing about Luis’ situation, the local Dairy Queen offered to donate 20% of profits made between 3 and 7 p.m. on Luis Day. Local company Birthday Buddies Inc. will be providing a Bluey visit from 4:30 to 5:30 and Mario visit from 5:30 to 6:30.
Zachary Kabinoff, a partner and operator of the Dairy Queen in Gilbertsville along with his wife, Jennifer Vernachio, and her parents, Nick Vernachio and Nancy Vernachio, heard about Luis Day through his neighborhood’s Facebook group page.
“As soon as I read the story I just thought about using our DQ as a platform to do a fundraiser and try to help out the best way I knew how,” Kabinoff said. “We host a lot of fundraisers for different groups, so it seemed like a natural way for us to lend a helping hand. We are hoping to raise a sizeable monetary donation and raise awareness of this young man’s tough situation.
“We hope to spread the word to as much of our community as possible. We are inviting everyone out to enjoy our food and ice cream to help take care of this young man and his family.”
“We know that Luis loves sweets,” Petrous said. “Hopefully, if he is feeling up for it, he will be able to get his ice cream from DQ that day and enjoy a day with friends. Some days are good days and some days are not so good.”
Students along with faculty and staff can participate in Luis Day by wearing the T-shirts designed by Luis.
For more information about the T-shirts, visit https://miracle4luis.cheddarup.com. Community members are encouraged to support the cause by purchasing shirts and/or contributing to the GoFundMe account.
Source: Berkshire mont