Two consecutive fundraisers will be held on Saturday, October 7, to help the family of nine-year-old Masie Bognatz pay for medical expenses and purchase equipment not covered by insurance.
The “Making Memories for Masie” benefit is being organized by Faith Ann Liuzzo-Bartholomew, proprietor of Faith Ann Liuzzo’s School for the Performing Arts and Masie’s dance instructor.
Masie, the daughter of Joe Bognatz and Heather Perry Bognatz, is a 3rd grade student at the Carbondale Elementary School. She was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, a disease that causes the loss of physical strength by affecting the motor nerve cells in her spinal cord. Masie is currently undergoing a series of spinal cord injections to help increase her strength and to delay the need for surgery.
Despite her physical limitations, Masie enjoys going swimming, exercising, playing video games, and participating in dance classes. She has studied dance with Faith Ann for five years, participating in ballet, cheer, tap, and jazz classes. Although Masie must use a walker to stand, she has a very can-do and upbeat attitude, tackling her dance classes with positivity and determination.
“She’d awesome! I can be having the worst day, and when Masie comes strolling in, my day’s suddenly good,” remarked Faith Ann. “Masie works hard and she’s always willing to try anything at least once. She was even part of a build (pyramid) in cheer. This is her first year going into tap, and she’s hitting all the beats!”
In addition to her walker, Masie depends on other adaptive devices to help her be more independent. All money raised from the “Making Memories for Masie” benefits will be used by the family to help pay medical expenses not covered by insurance and to help purchase equipment such as a ceiling lift tracker, a stair lift, and a stander to allow Masie to move more freely and easily.
Both fundraisers will take place at St. Michael’s Center, 403 Delaware St. in Jermyn. The first event, a Designer Purse Bingo, will begin at noon. Bingo tickets cost $25; the purchase includes 20 games of bingo, plus bingo specials. The purses featured as prizes will be by Coach, Michael Kors, and other popular designers. Finger foods will be offered during the bingo event.
Following the bingo, a Pasta Dinner will take place at the same location. Tickets for the dinner are $10 for adults and $7 for children. The meal includes penne pasta with sauce, meatballs, salad, and a roll with butter. Takeout dinners are available from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m., with seated dining from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. A basket raffle and a 50/50 drawing will be available during both events.
To purchase tickets for either event, contact Faith Ann at (570) 499-7638 or through the “Making Memories for Masie” or the Faith Ann Liuzzo’s School for the Performing Arts Facebook pages. For those who cannot attend but still wish to contribute, a GoFundMe page has been established at www.gofundme.com/making-memories-for-masie.