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JAR of Hope gala to be held Oct. 7

The bake sale will be held from 7-10 p.m. Dec. 17; 1-10 p.m. Dec. 18; and noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 19, at AMF Strathmore Lanes, 1061 Route 34, Aberdeen Township.

JAR of Hope, which raises funds to research a fatal childhood disease called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, will hold its third annual gala on Oct. 7.

Jim and Karen Raffone of Manalapan are the founders of JAR of Hope. Like most people, they had never heard of the rare childhood disease, according to a press release. But when their then-4-year-old son, James Anthony, known as Jamesy, was diagnosed with it in September 2013, their world turned upside down.

“When we asked the doctors how we could fight this disease,” Jim Raffone said, “they told us to just take him home and love him until he dies.”

The Raffones spent that weekend crying in their room so Jamesy and his two sisters would not see them. But when they got up on Monday, they decided to stop crying and start doing something.

“Especially when we found out that, because the disease is so rare, most drug companies were not even testing for a cure. They did not think it was financially worth it,” Raffone said.

So the Raffones started JAR of Hope to raise funds for Duchenne research and to increase awareness.

This year’s gala will feature entertainment by The Nerds. Tickets include a five-hour open bar, cocktail hour, gourmet dinner, raffle baskets with upscale gifts and a silent auction, according to the press release.

The gala will take place from 7 p.m. to midnight Oct. 7 at the Forsgate Country Club, Monroe Township. Tickets are available at www.jarofhope.org/events or by calling 732-414-6670.

“We at JAR of Hope fight all year long to increase awareness about this disease that kills children,” Raffone said. “But this gala is for the whole community, a chance for the community to celebrate our progress … and a chance to just have a special night of fun.”

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