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Foundation Keeps Memory Of Popular Emerson Athlete Alive By Helping Others

Eric Ayala, class of 1994
Eric Ayala, class of 1994 Photo Credit: Eric Ayala Memorial Foundation

EMERSON, N.J. -- As always, a May 5 buffet dinner will be the only fundraiser that the Eric Ayala Memorial Foundation holds this year -- yet it will do so much for so many with your help, organizers of the Emerson-based non-profit say.

Eric Ayala was a three-sport Emerson High School athlete who died on May 8, 2000 at the age of 23, six years after he was graduated from Emerson Junior-Senior High School -- and only four months after he was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukemia.

The foundation that bears his name helps those who are ill or in need, while also providing $1,000 scholarships each for two Emerson high school graduates -- one boy and one girl.

Created by his friends, brother, teacher and wrestling coach, the Eric Ayala Memorial Foundation has distributed more than $100,000 in donations.

In this way, organizers say, they "convey Eric’s message of making the most of every day and always looking to help others."

The 17th annual fundraiser at Woodcliff Manor on Prospect Avenue in Woodcliff Lake features a buffet dinner, open bar, tricky tray and DJ from 7 p.m. till midnight. Tickets are $80.

Although tickets may be available at the door, it's best to order in advance: Ericavalafoundation@hotmail.com.

Checks should be made payable to Eric Ayala Memorial Foundation.

If you can't make the dinner (or even if you can), you can also donate by mailing checks to Tom Mulhern, 55 Sherwood Ct., Emerson, NJ 07630.

Or contact any of the foundation members listed below.

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Memorial Foundation Members

  • Wendy Inserra
  • Steve Lella
  • Kevin Manning
  • Tom Mulhern
  • Erin Nallin
  • Mark Peirano
  • Seasar Rivera
  • Donny Spataro
  • Stan Woods

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