When Matthew Correll, a loving husband and father to his family of five, lost his battle to leukemia this past April, a group of local mothers wanted to help.
In honor of April Correll and her children, Andrea Benson, Janeth Kennedy and Kim Norberg organized a fundraiser this past Sunday at Mulcahy's Pub and Concert Hall in Wantagh.
"April is a really good friend of ours and our children have gone to school together since pre-school," said Benson, a Seaford resident. "She's become really close to us and we needed to do something for her and her family."
At Sunday's event, April said she felt simply overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support displayed in her husband's memory.
"It's just amazing," she said. "I think when something like this happens in your life, you tend to want to run away, and fortunately, I don't have to. These people are so wonderful."
Dawn Drewel, April's sister, also expressed how thankful she was for the generosity the Island Trees community has shown her nieces and nephew.
"My sister has the most amazing friends in the whole entire world," said Drewel, a Middle Island resident. "They've put together a great spread for this event. I can't even imagine being left three children and doing it by yourself. Them wanting to help is just unbelievable."
Friends since age 13, Drewel said she remembers Matthew as a sweet man, one she considered a brother of her own.
"He's one of the most amazing guys I've ever known," Drewel explained. "I really never thought he would go. I gave it my best foot forward with positive thinking, but when it's your time, it's your time. I'm glad he's at peace right now."
Matthew is survived by April and their three children, Erin, 6, Tyler, 3 and Caylee, 2. If interested in donating to the Correll family, please contact Janeth at 718-219-1367.