Robbinsville Township has named the The McLaughlin family as the recipient of Mayor Dave Fried’s eighth annual “Pay it Forward” initiative.

The McLaughlin family—Karen, Bruce, Nico and Mikayla—are long-time members of the Robbinsville community and have been selected as the beneficiaries for the State of Robbinsville Township Address/Pay it Forward event on May 16 at The Stone Terrace by John Henry’s in Hamilton.

Nico has waged a life-long battle with Evans Syndrome, which afflicts less than 1,000 people in the world. Evans syndrome is an extremely rare blood and auto-immune disease in which the body’s immune system produces antibodies that mistakenly destroy red blood cells, platelets and sometimes certain white blood cells known as neutrophils.

“Because Nico has a rare illness that wasn’t diagnosed as cancer, we struggled to get any assistance and fitting in has always been a challenge,” Karen said. “We have made it our mission that not only will this illness not destroy Nico, but it will also not define him. We seek to help anyone who needs support to help them not feel alone.”

Recently Mikayla, who suffers from Crohn’s/colitis, had a colon resection. Even more recently, it was learned Bruce needs a liver transplant. The family’s car also has been rendered inoperable. The McLaughlin’s and other organizations are actively looking for a live donor match for his O (positive or negative) blood type.

Funds are now being solicited for the McLaughlin Family for this year’s Pay it Forward through CARE, the township’s 501c3 charitable arm.

Past Pay it Forward recipients include the Shepherd Family, Quilts for Comfort, Deborah Dauer, CARE, Mercer Street Friends Food Bank, the We Love Our R’ville Neighbors campaign and the Breden Family, the latter in conjunction with Little Angels Service Dogs. Since 2015, those efforts have raised more than $400,000.

Fundraising for this effort is now open and corporate sponsorships levels of $25,000, $10,000, $5,000, $2,500, $500 and $250 are available. Individual tickets are $125, and $1,000 for a table of 10. Checks can be made payable to CARE and sent to Jodi Stephens/Robbinsville Township Administration at 2298 Route 33, Robbinsville, NJ 08691. Write “2023 Pay it Forward” in the check notes.

Robbinsville TOwnship Building

The Robbinsville Township municipal building. (Staff photo by Rob Anthes.)

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