It would have been hard to miss the recent news stories about little Eli Waller, the 4 year old Hamilton preschooler who died of Enterovirus D68 in late September. I don’t think any of us has been able to look at his sweet image without feeling a tug of emotion.
Since then, his parents. Suzanne and Andrew, have formed the non-profit Waller Educational Fund, which will provide financial assistance for school-related and therapeutic expenses for special education students and families. Eli, the youngest of a set of triplets, loved the first day of school in spite of having speech and language delays. “My hope is that by doing this, I can do something Eli will be proud of,” Mr. Waller said. The “public face” (my words) of the fund is The First Day of School Foundation, and you can make a donation on their website.
Or, you can come to a special event in Princeton on November 16. It turns out that Eli’s mother, Suzanne, has been a server at the Peacock Inn for several years, so on November 16 they are holding a food and wine fundraiser for the Waller Educatinal Fund from 11:30am to 3:30pm. All the food and wine for the event is donated, so 100% of your donation (minimum $100 to attend) will go to the fund. The family will be there to thank you in person, and you’ll be doing a really good thing for other children in the area. RSVP to the Peacock Inn by November 9 to 609-924-1707, as space is limited.
For more detailed information, visit the Planet Princeton post here. (While you’re at it, note that Planet Princeton is now asking for your support, with a crowdfunding campaign, to increase their excellent hyper-local coverage of news and events in and around Princeton. Remember: a strong, free press is essential to our democracy.)