By MADDY VITALE
Regan Capone, of Sea Isle City, enjoys horseback riding, spending time with family, and doing something that helps others in a way that could be described in one word as extraordinary.
The fifth-grader at the Ocean City Intermediate School has raised $20,000 in just three years.
She raised funds through sponsors for Mike’s Seafood Polar Bear Run/Walk For Autism in Sea Isle, the Love of Linda Cancer Fund, which is a Cape May County charity, and the Run For Nurses, a run/walk in Sea Isle that benefits the Cape Regional Foundation.
“I am proud,” the 11-year-old Regan said in an interview Friday. “I like helping others because it is the kind thing to do.”
Each charity has special meaning to her. Her father, Kevin Capone, works at Mike’s Seafood and Dock Restaurant.
She affectionately calls Mike Monichetti, owner of Mike’s Seafood “Uncle Mike.” Monichetti has two children, Cara and Mike Jr., who have autism.
“I do it for Cara and Mikey, too,” Regan added of her fundraising for autism awareness.
Her horse trainer, Eleanor Robinson at Pembrook Farm, located in Dennis Township, had a sister-in-law, Beverly Robinson, who passed away from cancer. Each fall, Eleanor Robinson hosts a horse show in Beverly’s honor and all of the proceeds go to the Love of Linda Cancer Fund.
Regan has a hefty fundraising goal she hopes to achieve this year — $12,000 for the three charities.
She doesn’t boast about her dedication to helping others, but it is definitely getting noticed.
“The communities are so generous and so caring. So many people say that they admire her and they are very supportive of her,” her mother Melissa Capone said. “The people really believe in her.”
She goes door to door at businesses in Ocean City, Sea Isle, Stone Harbor and Avalon to ask for donations and other support. Sometimes merchandise is donated that she makes into baskets for silent auctions.
Sea Isle Mayor Leonard Desiderio honored Regan with a “Do the Right Thing” award on May 7 during Community Day.
He gave her the accolade for being “a model for young people” for her fundraising efforts.
Congressman Jeff Van Drew has also been very supportive of Regan’s efforts to help others.
“Congressman Van Drew called Regan in to thank her for her commitment to the community,” Capone said. “He also gave a speech on the floor of Congress in her honor. It was a beautiful moment.”
Capone believes that Regan has learned a lot about what it means to be a good person through not only the way she was raised, but also her compassionate and caring nature.
“We are not well-to-do, but kindness is important to us. Pay it forward and think about others,” she said of the family motto. “Regan truly thinks about other people and if they are hurting, she tries to help them.”
To donate to the Love of Linda Cancer Fund visit www.loveoflinda.org. For Mike’s Seafood Run/Walk For Autism go to www.polarbearrunwalkforautism.com and for Run For Nurses visit https://runsignup.com/Race/NJ/SeaIsleCity/RunforNurses