Dear Friends & Families
In May of 2002, a brave boy had made a grown man keep a promise to him. The man, selfish in thought at that time due to the anguish he was witnessing all around him as well as experiencing it himself, had privately told his family in the wee hours of that morning, that he was not going to take any more pain and was going to turn away from working with children because he could not handle what he was going through and what he was also about to endure, the loss a child, which was not his own yet loved as such. That man wanted to run away from the pain. Too much suffering and heartache he bitterly told his family, as he left for the hospital hoping to get there in time. He didn’t want to go through this ever again. He wanted to shut the door, walk away. No more.
When he arrived at the hospital to find the rest of the family exhausted and in the lobby, somber, the man thought he’d gotten back too late and rushed into the room to find the young boy’s father and him in there alone. At that moment, there was only the three of us there and “Pauly”, was still with us, although in obvious discomfort, as the leukemia that had spread rapidly, was now overtaking him. But, that is when we learned that there is an “Angel” that was guiding us even at that very moment, and even though we did not know it then, that Angel would never leave us. His spirit was much stronger than anything his body could not handle. His spirit was blessed by God and had a mission and he would see it through, no matter what. The only words spoken to Pauly at that moment were the words sent to him by his brother’s; Alexander, Nicholas and Theo; and as I placed his hand to touch the championship trophy they had won for him, in his absence, those words were; “Pauly, you came in a champion and you’re going home a champion, we won this for you, and we love you.” That was all.
I stepped back and began to sob and it was that moment that Pauly spoke, without saying a word. Pauly’s dad; “Andreas”, looked up and said “No my son, you shall not leave us in vein. Don’t worry; he will continue what we started…” I was stunned because Pauly had not spoken one word from his mouth, and yet, Andreas turned to me and said that Pauly was very upset and that I must promise him that; “what you said this morning, will not happen and you will promise my son that you will continue the fight against this disease, for as long as God permits.” I was shocked, speechless and scared. How could this be? Pauly was not there, some 40 miles away, when I said those words. But as I looked towards Pauly, a tear was running down his cheek, eyes closed, and drying immediately due to the heat of his body temperature, and saw the look on Andreas face as he repeated; “he is upset, and you will promise him, now…”, I knew that Pauly truly was there, to which I knelt down immediately and whispered in Pauly’s ear saying; “Pauly, as long as I can walk, talk, bowl and breath, I will continue your fight against children’s leukemia and so too will your brother’s, for as long as God permits me too.” Pauly immediately stopped the tears, and he smiled. Shortly thereafter, Pauly, who had not spoken for three days to that point, had sat up, looked to his mama; “Georgia”, opened his arms and said; “Mommy, no more, I want to go home now.” , and hugged his mom. Soon after that, Pauly fell asleep in the Lord on May 18th, 2002. It was that moment in the hospital that Pauly himself saw to it that we ALL understood our mission and the foundation was born; “The Pins For Pauly Foundation, Inc.; (Continuing The Fight Against Children’s Leukemia).” It is in that spirit, that we continue Pauly’s mission because in the last twelve years, we have come to learn that; “the Angel that guides us, will not let us fail.” And we certainly are living proof that children do make a difference in this world and it is thanks to people like you that to date; our foundation; a labor of LOVE, which is run with the guidance of the Pavlou family and by volunteers, has raised approximately; $400,000.00 and we have been blessed to be able to assist more than 270 families that have children stricken with leukemia. Because of you and our volunteers we are able to give 99% of all proceeds directly to those families in need, keeping only the bare minimum for supplies needed to put the bowlathons together each year. This year will be our 12th Annual Pins For Bowlathon being held at; Wantagh Lanes, 1300 Wantagh Avenue, Wantagh, NY and it will commence at9:30AM. Applications and score sheets will be forthcoming.
I ask you all to MARK YOUR CALENDARS and come be a part of history. Come and experience a true love fest! Let us teach our children to sacrifice and give to help another child. 2013 was another success and we are looking forward to making 2014 SPECTACULAR! Give from your heart and ask others as well, for it is those proceeds that have helped those families to pay for expensive treatments and help offset costs that many families can otherwise not afford. Andreas & Georgia Pavlou, (Pauly’s parents), and Elena Pavlou-Orphanidies, (Pauly’s sister), know full well what those fears are like and it is them, through Pauly’s eye’s, that are a beacon of light and hope to families that many times feel very much alone. At Pins For Pauly, WE ARE FAMILY! And we are there for as many as we can be there for. But we are nothing without you.
In closing, I want to thank you for all of the families that you will help, but most probably never meet personally. Know full well that they do love you and appreciate you. For those of you just coming on board now; we WELCOME you to the family. For those of you that have been with us; we CHERISH you always. And to EVERYONE near or far that has supported us in the past and hopefully will continue to do so; we THANK YOU from the bottom of our collective hearts! And on behalf of The Pins For Pauly Foundation, Inc. and the Pavlou Family, I thank you for taking a little time to read this letter. I love you all. See you at the Bowlathon! I remain through the eyes of our Guiding Angel Pauly;
Alexander J Exarchou
National Chairman P4P