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December 13, 2012


1st Grader Hopes to “Save Lives One Bracelet at a Time”

Freeholder Brendan Gill (3rd from right) presented the Board’s commendation to 7-year old Daniella Addeo of Glen Ridge (center), who was accompanied by her parents, Vivian and Gil (behind Daniella to the left), as well as her grandfather, grandmothers, great-grandmother and aunt.  Also pictured are American Diabetes Association representatives (from far right) Erin O’Neill and Alison Carey.  PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

(Newark, NJ) – District 5 Freeholder Brendan Gill of Montclair honored 7-year old Daniella Addeo of Glen Ridge for her “Bracelets for Life” campaign to raise funds for the American Diabetes Association (ADA) during a ceremony held on Wednesday, December 12th, at the Hall of Records.  Daniella was accompanied by her parents, Vivian and Gill Addeo, as well as her grandfather, grandmothers, great-grandmother and aunt.  Representatives of the American Diabetes Association (Erin O’Neill, Associate Director of the NJ STEP-OUT Walks, and Alison Carey, Manager of the Northern NJ STEP-OUT Walk), also participated in the ceremony to show their appreciation for Daniella and her efforts.

According to her parents, Daniella, a 1st Grade student at Glen Ridge’s Forest Avenue School, has had a desire to help sick children since she was only 5 years old.  But she found a highly personal motivation for her altruism when she learned that her grandfather, Carlos Cortes, was afflicted by diabetes and that the disease was prevalent in her family.  Wishing for something to do to fight the “scary” disease and to help save her grandfather and others living with diabetes, she found her own personalized vehicle to raise funds to help find a cure by beading and selling plastic bracelets, an effort she explained by saying, “Because I want to help save lives one bracelet at a time”.

Daniella began her “Bracelets for Life” campaign by first selling bracelets at family parties and to friends and fellow students at school, finding success right off the bat.  Recognizing the potential of her homemade campaign, she and her family reached out to the American Diabetes Association to find a more organized platform for her efforts, and the organization responded by inviting her to join their “STEP OUT: Walk to Stop Diabetes” campaign, the ADA’s signature fundraising effort which has been active for more than 20 years and has raised more than $150 million.  Soon thereafter, Daniella offered her bracelets for sale at the ADA-sponsored “STEP OUT” event held in Franklin Lakes on October 7th and also sold her bracelets at the Montclair Farmers Market on Saturday, October 27th.

So far, Daniella has raised the impressive total of more than $800 through the sale of her bracelets, which are modestly priced at $5 and $3, and is an inspiration to everyone who comes in contact with her and learns of her “Bracelets for Life” campaign.

Freeholder President Blonnie Watson and Freeholder Gill join Daniella as they hold up examples of her hand-made bracelets.  PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

Freeholder Gill opened the ceremony by explaining that he was very impressed when he heard about Daniella’s efforts, especially because his family has been affected by diabetes.  Addressing her parents, he said “I was very personally touched by the efforts of your daughter to bring awareness to this disease.”   Gill also congratulated Daniella for her efforts and told her, “I am very excited to buy two of your bracelets so I may give them as Christmas gifts to my two children, my 4-year old son, and 1-year old daughter.”

Speaking on behalf the Addeo family, Daniella’s father, Gil, thanked Freeholder Gill and the Board for acknowledging his daughter, saying “I’m sure every parent believes that their child is special, and so we do we… we like to believe she is extraordinary… and your validation of her efforts really confirms that for us.”  He went on to applaud the hard work of his wife, Vivian, “for the amount of work she has done to support our daughter in her efforts.”

“We are extremely grateful that Daniella chose to support our charity because she has done an outstanding job”, said Erin O’Neill of the ADA.  She went on to say that the ADA is looking for people like Daniella every day because, “without fundraising efforts like hers, we aren’t able to fund our mission, which is to improve the lives of those who are affected by diabetes.”


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For Additional Information:
Gary Kroessig, Public Information
Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders




Board of Chosen Freeholders, County of Essex
Hall of Records - Room 558, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd., Newark, New Jersey 07102
Tel: (973) 621-4486 Fax: (973) 621-5695