Merrick family recognized for supporting breast cancer awareness


The Baldinger family, of Merrick, was recognized at Connoisseur Media Long Island’s 20th annual Radio for a Cure, a breast cancer awareness luncheon held at the Carlyle on the Green in Bethpage on Oct. 3. The luncheon recognizes fundraising efforts by community members and local organizations.

In 2005, Kerry Baldinger began a recruitment campaign with her business Chem Rx on the radio station formerly known as KJOY. At one of its events she met a sponsor named Geri Barish, who is the president of the 1 in 9 Hewlett House, also known as the Long Island Breast Cancer Coalition.

Baldinger instantly became a supporter and hosted a jewelry party fundraiser for the coalition that summer, raising roughly $1,000.

Twelve years later, her son Jason, 17, donated $1,000 he had put aside from his Bar Mitzvah gifts to Spectrum Designs, a promotional products and apparel decorating company in Port Washington that provides work opportunities to individuals with autism. Jason wanted to find a way to support Spectrum Designs and the 1 in 9 Hewlett House so, as part of his donation, he requested that Spectrum Designs create 2,500 custom imprinted pencils to donate .

Jason was recognized for creating “a philanthropic model where one charity can benefit another charity through a single donation,” said Stu Schrager, of Connoisseur Media Long Island.

This past April, Jason and his sisters Lexi, 14, and Marci, 11, also attended Connoisseur’s Egg Scramble, the radio station’s Easter event at Adventureland. There, they handed out Easter Eggs, pencils and information about the 1 In 9 Hewlett House in front of a pink playhouse provided by Wood Kingdom of Farmingdale.