By Seth Daniel
The Hooley family never asked for help, but Charlestown and the Anthony’s Dream Foundation are ready to help their little girl, Cadagan Hooley.
This Friday, Oct. 27, the Anthony’s Dream Foundation – made up of a generous group of Charlestown residents who go under the radar – will activate the Town for a special fundraiser to support the Hooley family in getting a handicap van.
Joe McGonagle, who is a founder of Anthony’s Dream, said the family is fourth-generation Townies and only live in North Reading now because of a fire in the home on Cross Street some years ago.
He said now that Cadagan, a long-time member of Special Townies, is getting older, the family needs a van to help her get around safely.
“The ultimate goal is to get the handicap van,” said McGonagle. “Friday’s event won’t get it all, but it will help and we’re not going to give up until we get it for them…Her parents are from the Town. Her parents’ parents are from the Town. Her grandparents are from the Town. She was born here, a third generation Townie, but had to move because of the fire…They didn’t ask for help. We sought them out.”
McGonagle said the Motown Night time will start at 7 p.m. with a DJ and tickets are $20 at the door.
Cadagan has two siblings, Kyle (16) and Cameron (6), and her parents are Dan and Lori Hooley.
McGonagle stressed that the Foundation is not only looking to help them financially, but also to let them know through the turnout that people in Charlestown support them.
“We want to help them financially,” he said. “We want to help them meet the goal of getting that van. We also want them to know they have people in the Town who are there for them. They are three generations here and that bond has never been broken and it will not be broken.”
Anthony’s Dream is in memory of Charlestown resident Anthony Matson, who died of cancer in his 20s some 20 years ago. Coming from a huge family that lived in the Bunker Hill Housing Development, he landed a full-ride scholarship to Northeastern University. However, soon after, he was diagnosed with cancer.
After beating it twice, it came back a third time and eventually took his life. However, before that could happen McGonagle and the group helped out the family and took Matson on some special trips to encourage him.
On his deathbed, he told them he wanted them to continue doing that for others.
“Anthony’s legacy lives on not in the financial gifts we give, but we’ve helped great people to get things like appointments they couldn’t have gotten and it saved their lives,” he said. “That’s the dream Anthony had. That’s Anthony’s Dream: good Charlestown people helping other good Charlestown people when it seemed like no one else was there to help.” Anthony’s Dream has helped 28 individuals with $245,168 in gifts over 19 years. To make a donation outside of the Keys for Cadagan, send checks to ‘Anthony’s Dream’ at P.O. Box 290814, Charlestown, MA 02129.