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Community supporting stricken family

J.J. Hanson is pictured with his wife Kristen and their son James Andrew.
Contributed photo

By David Hulse
June 18, 2014

ELDRED, NY — Residents in the Town of Highland are rallying behind one of their favorite sons.

James “J.J.” Hanson Jr., 33, a Yulan native and current Florida resident, was recently diagnosed with grade-4 glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain tumor.

He is currently with family on Long Island, recovering from treatment at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

The son of Jim and Doreen Hanson, J.J. is a 1999 Eldred Central School (ECS) graduate. He’s remembered at ECS as a star in athletics as well as for his scholastic achievements.

He’s remembered in the river valley as a 2001 recipient of the Upper Delaware Council’s Robin Daniels Lifesaving Award, for his efforts in saving a drowning boater at Cedar Rapids.

He is remembered as a U.S. Marine captain who served in combat during the Iraq War.

J.J. married another ECS grad, Kristen Klufas, and they are the parents of one-year-old James Andrew Hanson.

His illness and treatment have created numerous travel costs for the family and the community is helping by sponsoring a July 5 community day—barbeque, 5k run-walk, softball tournament and raffle.

Primary event sponsors are the Yulan Fire Department and the Beaver Brook Rod & Gun Club. Five hundred raffle tickets, at $10, have been printed and are available at the Yulan Service Station.

Highland councilman and neighbor, Jeff Haas, outlined the fundraising effort at the town board’s June 10 meeting. “The back and forth to Florida, driving into the city have been expensive,” he said.

The absence of town clerk and mom Doreen Hanson at the meeting highlighted the family illness. “It’s a tough time for everyone at the town right now,” Supervisor Andrew Boyar said.

Highland resident and newly elected county VFW Commander Peter Carmeci announced that Sullivan veterans’ organizations would also be supporting the fundraising.

“If there ever was a time to help fulfill a need, this is it,” Boyar added.

Registration for the July 5 5k begins at 10 a.m., with the walk-run step-off at 11 a.m. The barbeque and softball tournament begin at 12 noon. A $10 donation will be collected.

For more information, call Doreen Sweeney at 845/557-6540 or Haas at 845/557-8431.

Additionally, an online fundraising effort sponsored by Hanson’s #canthurtsteel and #teamhanson can be found at fundly.com/canthurtsteel

More about J.J. Hanson