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Gala to benefit families coping with cancer

Annual Kids Need More fundraiser to return

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The Coral House, located at 70 Milburn Avenue in Baldwin, is set to host the 4th annual Kids Need More Gala dedicated to the memory of Mitchell Kraeling Jr., 22, — who died of cancer in 2013 — on Friday, Jan. 31.

The fundraiser has raised thousands of dollars for children and families dealing with cancer. The gala raises money on behalf of Kids Need More, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of people coping with cancer and life-threatening illness, and helps to fund Camp Adventure. The camp is held in August, and pairs trained volunteers with kids with cancer and their siblings.

Mitchell Kraeling Sr. and his daughter, Kimberley, organize annual fundraising events including the gala in memory of Mitchell Jr., who died of a rare pediatric bone cancer.

Mitchell Jr. suffered from a disease called Ewing’s sarcoma, a very rare cancer that grows in the bones or the soft tissue around them, such as cartilage or the nerves. Ewing’s sarcoma affects about 200 children and young adults every year in the United States, and shows up slightly more often in males.

Kraeling’s son was receiving treatment at Stony Brook University Hospital when Kraeling met Melissa Firme, co-founder and president of the Kids Need More organization, which provides aid to children and families faced with pediatric cancers.

Kraeling, a Rockville Centre resident, Freeport native and manager at Island Electric Corp., and his family have supported the program for years.

Those who attend the gala are encouraged to dress according to the year’s theme — this year is Hollywood Red Carpet.

For more information or to contribute to Kids Need More, visit kidsneedmore.org, call (631) 608-3135 or email info@kidsneedmore.org.