NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — A fundraiser was being held Saturday for a Mt. Sinai man whose community banded together to build a new home for him, his wife and four daughters.
The fundraiser was to benefit James Shaljian, 45, who suffers from Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Shaljian has lived apart from his family for nearly a year, in a cottage behind the family home. The main home was infested with mold and doctors said the mold could damage his compromised immune system.
Builders and volunteers announced in August that they would build a new home for the family, after the Shaljians were not chosen for ABC’s Extreme Makeover show.
A non-profit foundation for the Shaljian project was formed, Building Hope for Long Island.
Dorothy Schlosser, the foundation’s treasurer, said builders will be breaking ground on the new home soon, but still need funds for the interior. “We’re hoping to raise money to start purchasing materials for the house”, Shlosser said, “Items such as new beds and new furniture because a lot of the things that they have in the house are compromised by the mold.”
Demolition on the mold-infested Shaljian home is expected to begin in the next few weeks, Schlosser said. A Manhattan businessman, Lenny Santorelli, is paying for the costs of a rental home for the Shaljians while their new home is being built.
James Shaljian said he is excited at the prospect of being reunited with his family under one roof, in the rental this month and afterwards in the new home.” It’s been so long and it’s unbelievable that we are all going to be in the same house” Shaljian said.
Plans for the new home will be available for viewing at the fundraiser.
The fundraiser was scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Country Fair Entertainment Park on Rte 112 in Medford. A $20.00 admission includes golf and four other attractions at the park.
Donations of money, labor, and materials are being sought for the Shaljian build and future builds. To help out, you can visit either the “Building Hope For Long Island” Facebook page, or the Building Hope for Long Island Foundation’s own website.