FAIR LAWN, N.J. -- A group of Fair Lawn entrepreneurs have united with the mayor and police union to stage a special night for a very special girl with severe birth defects.
Makayla Visbal, 7, who has microcephaly (commonly called a "small head"), lissencephaly (small brain) and cerebral palsy, needs a wheelchair-accessible mobility van -- but these cost roughly $60,000 each.
A GoFundMe account has raised a little over a third of that over the past year.
So Mayor John Cosgrove got together with the Fair Lawn PBA Local 67 and United Real Estate of North Jersey's Agents Benefitting Charities 501c(3) group to arrange "A Night for Makayla" on Nov. 10 at the Brownstone in Paterson ( see video, above ).
"It's a big family. They can't do it by themselves," PBA President Luis Vasquez told Daily Voice. "They need our help."
Marlene Visbal told Daily Voice last year that Makayla, one of four children, "beat the odds" after she was born.
"Doctors said she wasn't going to make it," her mother said. She's very strong, the strongest person I know.
"She's just our little angel."
It's become more difficult to move Makayla as she's grown, particularly lifting her in and out of vehicles -- making the van necessary.
Funds will be raised at A Night for Makayla through a trick tray and sponsorships in the evening's program that range from $500 to $10,000.
"We're counting on our local businesses," Vasquez said. "They can make a difference."
Tickets to the event are $50.
To buy those, call (973) 981-0056 ( see video, above ).
You can buy tricky tray tickets or a sponsorship by clicking here: A Night for Makayla