Susan Keller-Weissmeier and Lori Donaldson formed a plan recently to throw a fundraiser for the eight-year-old girl, to show support for their close friend, Eileen Collins DiBenedetto, who was diagnosed with breast and kidney cancer.
“She's the type of person that when I needed something, even if she wasn't feeling good, she helped me out,” Weissmeier said of DiBenedetto.
Donaldson agreed, “she's a wonderful person, she's got a heart of gold.”
Dibenedetto is a positive-minded person who is devoted to her daughter and son, now in his 20s, and enjoys spending her summers in the upstate New York countryside, her friends said.
The three friends' daughters are cheerleaders together.
Although Donaldson and Weissmeier met DiBenedetto a couple of years ago, both women developed strong friendships with her.
“I feel like I've known her forever, she has that kind of way about her,” Donaldson said. “Even if you don't know her, you take a liking to her.”
To raise awareness for the fundraiser, Donaldson and Weissmeier are posting information on Facebook and in fliers around the community.
“We've gotten an awesome response,” Weissmeier said.
Respondents started donating goods and supplies the first day it was advertised online, she said.
“It makes her feel really good to see how many people she's touched,” Donaldson added. “We've gotten an overwhelming response from everybody.”
The fundraiser will be held on Saturday, January 28, from 7 to 11 p.m. at Yerman's Irish Pub, located at 70-26 88th Street in Glendale. Profits raised will be saved for DiBenedetto's daughter Crystal in a local bank.