Lancaster, NY - We have a happy follow up to a frightening event that many of you remember from over the summer.
Back in July, four teens and a 28-year-old suffered electric shock when a goal post they were trying to move hit a power line at the Lancaster High School Athletic Field. At the time, many worried they wouldn't live.
But the victims have recovered, and one is talking about a very kind act his neighbors did following this traumatic experience.
Thursday night, kids on Lancaster's Stony Brook Lane lined up to get candy canes from Santa who arrived in grand fashion, but the true man of the hour was not the man in red. It was high school student JJ Pesany.
"It's amazing. Words cannot explain how excited I am for this to actually happen," he said.
JJ, a survivor of the electrical accident, has proved himself to be selfless.
You see, every year, JJ's neighborhood collects money for a different cause to help children. When neighbors approached JJ's family about being the recipients of this year's fundraising efforts, they agreed only if the money went directly to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Women and Children's Hospital. That's where JJ received the medical care he needed after his accident.
"We had a charity picked out, but then there was an accident at the high school, and when we went over to see the family, and said what can we do and they said we'd like to give back to the PICU, and I said absolutely, that's our charity," said fundraiser organizer Jennifer Chomen.
JJ says he's feeling a lot better, too.
He also got to meet the police officer who saved his life during a private moment right before the celebration began.
"That was very emotional meeting him. He's a great guy and I can't, words cannot explain how grateful I am for his actions," says JJ.
JJ and his family are also grateful for the team at the PICU.
"What happened to me was bad. I mean, it was horrible, but what came out of it was a lot of great things. I got to meet a lot of nice people," said JJ.
"Who would have thought in the 6th year that we would be asking our wonderful neighbors if they would be, would help us support the Children's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit because of what they did for our son. And, here we are today standing here in much better times almost six months later thrilled to be supporting the Children's PICU," said JJ's mom.
About one-hundred people gathered on a neighbor's driveway for the check presentation to see just how much money they raised. The total, $11,868, broke last year's record by thousands.
"My goal was to get over ten-thousand, we beat our goal, I'm so ecstatic. It's just amazing," said JJ.
And, JJ and his family are thankful the donations will be able to help others who need the PICU just like he did.
"I don't remember much of what they did for me, but from what I hear, they saved my life and I'm so grateful for all of them," he says.
To find out more about the neighborhood's fundraising efforts click here.