Special day for dogs honors Marlboro boy

An event with the goals of finding happy homes for dogs and raising money for the Ashley Lauren Foundation will also celebrate the memory of a young Marlboro resident.

The Dog Day Afternoon will be held on Sept. 26 at the dog park at the Marlboro Recreation Community Center, Wyncrest Road. Festivities will begin at 11 a.m. and run until 4 p.m.

The day will honor the memory of Mark Levine, 9, who lost his battle with cancer earlier this year. The child loved dogs and was able to finally have a pup of his own because of the efforts of Monica Vermeulen of the Ashley Lauren Foundation.

The Ashley Lauren Foundation is a local nonprofit organization that provides financial and material assistance, as well as emotional support to families of children who have cancer. The foundation is helping more than 200 families throughout New Jersey, according to its Internet website.

Mark’s mother, Tracey Levine, said Vermeulen helped the family in so many ways as Mark was in treatment for his cancer. Vermeulen helped Mark meet some of his favorite celebrities, including New York Giants football players Eli Manning and Ahmad Bradshaw, and celebrity chef Bobby Flay, who Levine said came to cook for the youngster.

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