Home Features BONJ Series The Cheer Me Up Foundation Aids Children in Need

The Cheer Me Up Foundation Aids Children in Need

The holidays are a particularly joyous time of year. Something about the religious observances, stunning lights, vibrant decorations, and joyous music evoke a special brotherhood between us all. What makes this time of year even more special, though, is the time spent with loved ones; feasting on enormous meals, exchanging gifts, and relaxing in front of the fireplace.

However, not every person has family members to spend this time of year with.
22 years ago, Joe Maurillo’s daughter Gianna was a patient at the Newark Children’s Hospital. While visiting his daughter, Maurillo recognized the hard truth that not everyone has a family they can spend the otherwise jolly holiday season with. During that same year, Maurillo and his friends decided to do something fun for the children; they dressed in Christmas costumes, bought gifts, and provided the children at the Newark Children’s Hospital with one of the most remarkable holidays they had ever experienced.


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Immediately after the holiday, Maurillo, owner of Nanina’s in the Park, founded the Cheer Me Up Foundation, a non-profit organization designed to financially aid ill and underprivileged children under the age of 18.

Every year, the foundation throws an incredible holiday party for such children. The annual endeavor is a truly heartwarming event. To learn more about the Cheer Me Up Foundation, as well as Joe Maurillo, his daughter, and this past year’s Christmas Extravaganza, check out this episode of One-on-One with Steve Adubato.

For more stories that impact New Jersey residents, click over to our Hot Topics in NJ series.


One on One with Steve Adubato

Hero (Top) Feature Image: © Melpomene / Adobe Stock

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