It only took one phone call for Betsy Kromidas to bring incredible joy to a poor family back in 2002, and now she wants to help more families experience that also.
That’s why Kromidas, a Newington resident, hosted a fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation at the Pine Loft on the Berlin Turnpike Sunday.
With the help of five local bands and her friend Karen Rosol, whose husband, Richard, owns Martin Rosol’s meat market in New Britain — Kromidas brought together live music and good food for a good cause.
Make-A-Wish Connecticut grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Kromidas and her husband, also Richard, have donated to the organization every year since she experienced the joy in doing so just over a year ago. As a speech pathologist, she was working with a young boy living in Hartford who suffered from Hunter Syndrome, a terminal illness. More than anything else in the world, he wanted to meet Winnie the Pooh, so she called the foundation, which sent the family on a Disney World vacation with suitcases of new clothes and cash to spend.
“It was just the most beautiful thing,” she remembered.
When the boy passed away four years later at age 9, the family thanked her for giving him the opportunity of a lifetime, in every sense of the phrase.
“It was the most amazing time for that family; no one can take those memories away from them,” added Kromidas, who husband plays in one of the bands that performed at Sunday’s fundraiser.
Not only did the event benefit the charity, but it also gave the jazz and rock musicians the opportunity to perform for a crowd.
“They’re basically a bunch of retired guys who all play together — none of the bands have names,” explained Rosol.
Nine different raffle prizes contributed to the benefit, including wine and Martin Rosol’s hot dogs.