Maplewood, NJ, May 8, 2017) Sue and Ed Goldstein, founders of The Valerie Fund, were inducted into The New Jersey Hall of Fame during a red carpet ceremony at Convention Hall and the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park on Sunday, May 7th. The Goldsteins were honored as recipients of the Unsung Hero award, created to give public recognition to those making a difference in the state but whose efforts do not always receive widespread acknowledgment.
The Valerie Fund is a nonprofit organization providing healthcare support for children battling life-threatening diseases. Ed Bond, an original board member of The Valerie Fund and a longtime friend of the Goldsteins, said it was a joy to watch Sue and Ed be inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame. "I had the privilege of being there from the beginning and even the most optimistic among us could not have imagined that today there would be seven Valerie Fund Children's Centers treating more than 6,000 children annually, making it one of the largest networks in the country of outpatient healthcare facilities for children with cancer and blood disorders."
Janet Keating, former Valerie Fund board Chair echoed Bond's sentiments and said, "I felt so fortunate to be present Sunday night to see you both Sue and Ed honored and inducted into The New Jersey Hall of Fame. I experienced an overwhelming feeling as I watched them get a standing ovation when they were announced the 2016 unsung heroes.
The audience of more than 1,500 learned about the Goldsteins in a video, and Sue and Ed accepted the award from Eric LeGrand and Army 1st Captain Brian Brennan, previous recipients of the Unsung Hero honor. The Goldsteins, who live in Warren, credited the growth of The Valerie Fund to the healthcare providers, especially the social workers, child life specialist, educational liaisons, and psychologists who provide the core Valerie Fund services to children and their families battling cancer or a blood disorder. They also spoke about Camp Happy Times, where each summer more than 200 current and former patients enjoy a week of camp, at no cost to them, where they can just be "normal kids."
Sue and Ed Goldstein suffered unthinkable tragedy not once, but twice, losing both their daughters to cancer at different stages of their lives. In the face of their grief, the Goldsteins used their losses to help others, creating programs in the wake of each daughter's passing. Their extraordinary efforts over more than 40 years resulted in the founding of two organizations that have provided hope and life-saving treatment to thousands: The Valerie Fund and The Stacy Goldstein Breast Cancer Center at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.
Ed Goldstein addressed the audience by saying, "We want to leave you with one thought, get involved! There are many excellent charities that need your help right here in our great state. You could make a real difference."
For video coverage of event.