EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

July 13, 2013

Local residents team up to help Jimmy Fund

Residents step up to help the Jimmy Fund

Martin Foley is still a teenager, but the death of a loved one from cancer has had a big impact on his life.

The 13 members of a Newton, N.H., youth baseball team haven’t been personally affected by cancer, but they are pitching in to raise money to fight the disease.

Hundreds of people across the country are teaming up this summer to support The Jimmy Fund, a charity that raises money for cancer research through the Dana-Farmer Cancer Institute in Boston. It’s perhaps best known for being the official charity of the Boston Red Sox.

When Foley, a 19-year-old Salem, N.H., resident lost his stepfather, William Corso, to colon cancer in March, he knew he had to do something to help beat the disease.

That’s why Foley will be at Showcase Cinemas in Lawrence from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today to collect donations for the Jimmy Fund. Before each movie begins, the Southern New Hampshire University student will ask theater patrons to do their part in the fight against cancer.

Foley was at Showcase last weekend as well, filling his can with donations before the start of 10 films. It was a satisfying — but very emotional — day for Foley, still feeling the pain from his stepdad’s death at age 50.

“It really felt like nothing I had ever felt before — it made be feel good,” he said. “I just thought of my stepfather the whole time.”

Foley is just one of many volunteers participating in the Jimmy Fund’s Theatre Collections program — its old fundraiser, according to Dana-Farber spokeswoman Robbin Ray. Volunteers have been passing collection canisters at movie theaters since 1949, raising $29 million, she said.

Foley, who splits time living with his mother Lee Corso and his father, whose name is also Martin Foley, admits he wasn’t that close to his stepfather until shortly before his death. But Foley admired William Corso for his strong work ethic and sense of humor, and knew he truly made his mother happy.

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