You could not have asked for better baseball weather for Team Peri Day this past Sunday at Citi Field, which was lead by an on-field pregame ceremony joined by SNY’s and former Mets player Nelson Figueroa.
The fundraiser was held to support Peri Finkelstein’s foundation, “Team Peri and Chai Lifeline,” which helps raise money for children overcoming medical issues, so they can attend Camp Simcha summer camp. The camp supports kids with disabilities as well as kids dealing with childhood cancer.
Finkelstein is a teenager that does not want anyone’s sympathy. She has muscular dystrophy and even though she maybe confined to a wheelchair and ventilator Peri is unstoppable. She sees no boundaries and trains as hard as an athlete for the Miami Half Marathon.
Since the Finkelsteins have teamed up with Nelson Figueroa he has helped them raise over $250,000 for the camp.
“Team Peri are spearheaded by one of the strongest young people I know,” Figueroa said. ”Peri looks for zero sympathy and continues to do things to help others.”
Peri is your typical 17-year old girl who as turned her love and passion for the New York Mets into a fundraising opportunity for others.
“The New York Mets have supported us throughout the years by sending us raffle prizes for some of our Team Peri Fundraisers,’” Peri said. “Nevertheless, have we thought it would go this far, but it only can turn into more bigger and better things. Team Peri is only just getting started.”
Peri’s mother, Lori Finkelstein has helped Peri organize her fundraising efforts over the years. Lori says her experiences with the New York Mets and media relation director Jay Horwitz has been incredible.
“Jay has genuine interest in Team Peri’s success and cause, and has yearly contributed to our efforts by always sending our way the best raffle/auction prizes which is held usually in November and bring in quite a nice amount of money for our fundraising for Chai Lifeline.”
Even though, Peri has her own challenges to overcome, her main focus is helping others. Peri’s positive attitude towards helping others is simple. “Although my medical situation is quite different then another individual, all of our stories shares a common thread, to make the world a better place. Within the disabled population, we are understand each other’s circumstances and can relate to each other in more ways than one. The empathy and comfort that is brought to the surface is undeniable. That’s why I called the disabled population, “super-abled” because we can achieve anything that we put our minds to.”
Lori Finkelstein describes how incredibly inspirational her daughter has been to her. She is always impressed by Peri’s growth and her desire to educate others on muscular dystrophy. “It is not easy to be open and expose your heart and soul to strangers, especially as a teen. You don’t know how people will react. However, Peri knows that there are many kids who don’t have a voice or a platform. She does, and she is responsible with that role “
It is undeniable. Peri Finkelstein and Nelson Figueroa are a fundraising power duo! Figueroa plans on making his first appearance at Camp Simcha this summer and is extremely excited to witness firsthand the actives the children participate in. He says he is looking forward to meeting the children and the families attending the summer camp.