BY ALLISON RUPPINO "He's incredibly gracious," said New Jersey's Celebrity Magnet Tom Murro in response to spending some time with retired New York Giants linebacker Harry Carson. Murro, his wife Kelly, "The Real Housewives of New Jersey's" Kim Granatell, and NFL Hall of Famer Harry Carson were seen attending the Emmanuel Cancer Fund for children's Hollywood Bash in Ridgewood, on Saturday January 8th. Kim Granatell, also known as "Kim G" from the reality show, invited her good friend Murro to this New Jersey charity event. After speaking to the program's coordinator, Murro found out there would not be any other celebrities at the charitable event. Being a magnet of celebrities, he immediately got on the phone and reached out to his fellow Franklin Lakes neighbor Harry Carson. Murro had met the former player only once before at a local Starbucks. This time when he spoke to Carson, the conversation was about the Emmanuel Cancer Fund. He explained how the organization's goal is to raise emergency money for New Jersey's children with cancer and their families by providing emotional, material, and the much-needed financial support. "If you brought a football for their silent auction, I'm sure that would be tremendous for them," said Murro over the phone to Carson. This would be more than just a treat for any sports fans in the audience, since each football Carson signs is quite valuable. The guests at the event anxiously awaited Carson's arrival. Murro spent time taking photos with Kim G for a (201) Magazines photographer. Murro asked the photographer when he planned to leave the event, and he replied, "after Harry Carson gets here." Clearly, Carson was a highlight for all. After attending another event in the area, Carson arrived at the ECF event with his beautiful wife Maribel, a football, a helmet, and pen in hand. There was no doubting this Hall of Famer was a former football linebacker. "I think I'm a pretty big guy, but next to him I'm like little a girl," said Murro after posing for photos with Carson. Carson put his signed helmet and football up for auction, which sold for $450. Laura Savage, a social worker and regional director who has been with ECF for nearly four years, ran the event and was pleased to see that Carson's donation was a big hit. Savage said that she realized not everyone can be a former NFL player, but when it comes to donations, they appreciated everyone's effort and "nothing is too small." The entire event raised nearly $18,000, and for every dollar raised, 75 cents will go to the children. Everyone involved was happy with the turnout, especially Kim G who made her own generous donation. Kim G first learned of the organization six years ago in a newspaper and proceeded to contact ECF volunteer David Johnson. She started with giving away Jingle Ball tickets and Yankee tickets and has been making monetary donations ever since. She strongly encourages anyone to donate anything he or she can, because ECF has a special place in her heart for the work they do. ECF uses the money to provide affected families with everything from clothing, gift cards, tires, air conditioners, absolutely anything a family in need might be able to use. They also host their own food pantry and provide in-home counseling. One of the recipients of these services, 39-year-old cancer survivor Jonnine Deloatch, was diagnosed with cancer as a teenager in 1986. She attended the event and her story truly touched the audience. "Carson may appear to be intimidating, but guests at the event quickly learned he has a big soft spot. People saw him as a gracious and kind gentleman after they got to hear him speak at the podium regarding how important charities are to him" said Murro. The retired player ended the night shortly after, making sure to sign Murro's daughter's football, since she is a huge Giants fan. Murro was moved by the player's enthusiasm for attending the event. "When I asked him if he could make an appearance here, he didn't hesitate for a second." He was also impressed by the linebacker's role as a husband. After he explained to Carson's wife how he first met the Hall of Famer at a Starbucks, she replied, "Oh, he doesn't drink coffee, sometimes on Saturdays he goes just to pick one up for me." What a "Giant" romantic. For further information visit: http://www.emmanuelcancer.org/ In order to get involved or make a donation, please mail to this address: Northern Regional Center 174 Paterson Avenue Midland Park, NJ 07432 Or contact their office directly at: 201-612-8118
Kevin Boothe will be doing a live appearance at In The Game Collectibles on Sat 12/05/2009 @2pm Stop by Kohl's Plaza on rt 35 in Holmdel NJ and Meet Kevin and get a FREE Autograph!