Comfort Project 360, a cancer patient support program at Saint Barnabas Hospital, had its sixth annual “A Reason to Rock” fundraiser this past Thursday night at the Crestmont Country Club, where it honored young people in our area who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to support the organization.
Anna Lilley, a fourth grader at F.N. Brown Elementary School, was one of the youngest “Junior Rock Stars of the Year” to be celebrated. As part of a youth community service group called Verona Kids Rock, Lilley has helped make port pillows for cancer patients, and participated in events to encourage kindness. “I think it’s very important because a cure hasn’t been found and many people get sick from cancer,” Lilley said of her involvement with support programs. “Their life is very hard and they need someone to help them feel more comfortable while they are sick. I’m involved in honor of my papa,” she added, referring to her grandfather. “My mom talks about him a lot. He passed away in 2012, when I was only two years old. Saint Barnabas tried to help him get better.”
Comfort Project 360, established in 2014, has helped create and improve comfort for cancer patients at Saint Barnabas Medical Center. It provides comfort in infusion centers and exam rooms, healthy snack carts for patients, as well blankets, scarves and hats. Every bit helps cancer patients and their families during a very difficult time. Reason to Rock events have raised more than $1 million to benefit cancer centers at Saint Barnabas.
“As a mom, I am very proud of all the kindness Anna has shared for the last several years to help others,” said Dina Lilley, “and I know her papa is smiling down on her. Although Anna was the Junior Rock Star representing Verona, she knows that there are many others that helped her receive this honor. She is so happy that Verona Kids Rock Group has been a part of this great journey of kindness since June 2016. They all help make a difference!”