A new Bayside-based nonprofit organization is committed to making possible the impossible.
President Katie Capitulo founded the Fairy Godmother Foundation of New York, which works to grant quality-of-life experiences to individuals living with medical, physical, mental health or developmental disabilities, earlier this year.
“I have experience working with children that have complicated illnesses, and what I found was that they they didn’t have the opportunity to have quality-of-life experiences like other kids,” Capitulo said. “We can make dreams come true.”
A remarkable young woman named Linda Shohatee left an indelible mark on the nonprofit founder. Born with a life-threatening illness that required her to wear an I.V. 18 hours a day and spend half her life in hospitals, Shohatee had an incredible zest for life.
“She was a very tenacious young woman who wanted to enjoy life, despite her challenges. And she advocated for other children, as well,” she said.
In working with various community leaders and institutions, Capitulo was able to secure a series of unforgettable experiences for the young woman, including a Sweet 15 birthday at Flushing’s Terrace on the Park and a dance performance at Lincoln Center with Bayside group, Dancing Dreams. The fashionista was also a regular at Bayside’s Christie & Co. Salon & Spa, where she would frequently get fun makeovers.
Sadly, after a hard-fought battle, Shohatee passed away in 2016 at the age of 19.
“It made a huge difference in her life to have those experiences,” Capitulo said. “When she passed away, we decided to do this for other children.”
Made up of a combination of physicians, nurses, teachers, social workers and media experts, the Fairy Godmother Foundation’s board is working to do just that. Though only established as a nonprofit in April, the organization has already made one dream come true. After recently undergoing a bone transplant, a young boy was granted his wish to see a ballgame at Citi Field. The tickets were donated by a member of the board.
In an effort to make more dreams come true, the organization will hold its first major fundraising event in October. The inaugural Linda Shohatee Memorial Costume Ball and Fundraising Gala will take place at Terrace on the Park on Oct. 13. Guests are encouraged to attend the fun event in costume and can enjoy live music, dancing, wand making and photo booths and an open bar.
Christie & Co. Salon’s Lois Christie, Allison Schlanger and Alison Berna, and Dolly Coleman will also be recognized at the event and receive awards for their outstanding work and achievements in the community.
“We want to get out the word that, despite their challenges, people can still have quality-of-life experiences and seek an education and better themselves,” Capitulo said.
Those interested in making candidate referrals or who have resources or connections that would help the organization grant wishes can reach out via email at info[at]nyfairygodmother.org or phone at 718-490-2322.
Tickets for the gala can be purchased by clicking here.