Seaford resident Karen Siler’s mission to find a new caring home for three people close to her hearts who are not in position to help themselves is inching closer to reality.
Siler helped organize a successful fundraiser held at Mulcahy’s Pub & Concert Hall in Wantagh on Oct. 18 called “Karen’s Hope” where proceeds went toward her vision to improve the lives of her son, brother and dear friend.
Siler’s brother, Michael Russell, who lives in a group home in Glen Cove, has Down Syndrome and was recently diagnosed with Leukemia. Her son Ryan has Autism and is ready to live independently, but needs to be close to his family and friends. In addition, the home of Siler’s good friend and neighbor Laura, who was recently diagnosed with cancer, is in foreclosure proceedings after her husband abandoned her.
The vision of “Karens Hope” is for Siler and her husband Allen purchasing Laura's home out of foreclosure and have Ryan and Michael move into it together with her dear friend remaining to provide them overnight care. New York State would then continue to provide the necessary supports to avoid institutionalized living.
Siler said thanks to the Oct. 18 fundraiser at Mulcahy’s and other fundraising efforts, more than $30,000 has been raised toward down payment assistance and some repairs to the home that she hopes “will forever be open to individuals with disabilities.” More than 200 people attended the fundraiser, which featured an open bar, food, disc jockey, performance by stand-up comedian Rob Cividanes and a Chinese Auction. A live auction was also hosted by Seaford resident John Theissen, founder of the Wantagh-based John Theissen Children’s Foundation.
There was a great positive spirit in the air that night,” said Karen Siler of the turnout for the Oct. 18 benefit.
For a link to a donation page set up by the Disability Opportunity Fund, click here and select Karen's Hope under program designation.