John Thomas and Special Friends Fund

If you follow my blog semi-regularly, the adorable face I'm about to show shouldn't be a stranger to you.  I met John Thomas and his amazing family when his mom April bid on a photo session I donated to the Junior League silent auction a couple of years back.  I have photographed their family twice, and she is already asking me about my availability for next year and driving up to do the photo session in Vermont, which of course flatters me to no end.  I have also become the photographer for the foundation her and her husband run in honor of their son John Thomas.  Their annual fundraising ball is coming up in November, and April asked me to post this information and picture of John on my blog.  I was only too happy to pass along the info about this wonderful family and what they are doing for children with special needs.  Please read below for more information.  Also, just to give credit where it's due, or not due lol, I didn't take this photo of John, but how cute is he??  Thanks for sending this information along April!  






A Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball Benefiting Special Needs Children

Dedham, MA (October 20, 2011) The John Thomas and Special Friends Fund will be hosting its 3rd Annual Benefit Gala for special needs children on November 20th, 2011 at Lombardo’s in Randolph, Massachusetts.  The Mardi Gras Masquerade strives to surpass the two previous years’ fundraising efforts that have already amassed nearly $50,000 to fund genetic research projects at Childrens Hospital Boston, educational projects at Perkins School for the Blind, and otherwise assist local special needs children, as well as the medical and educational institutions and social organizations that care for and support special needs children, with funding for special medical equipment, communication and other adaptive technology devices, therapies, and social activities.

The Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball will be an afternoon from 2pm-7pm of fun and mystery, music and mayhem for our young and old guests alike.  Excitement abounds with a stilt walker, juggling jester, and mask making activities to keep the younger guests busy, while the adults can enjoy the auction items, raffles, and the other elations of mardi gras.  Moreover, there is fun for the whole family with music by DJ Jerry Gemme of Starlight Entertainment, dancing, and family photo opportunities by professional photographer, Alanna Scully of Alanna Scully Photography.  A full buffet meal will be provided.  Tickets can be purchased in advance for $65/adult and $35/child.  The Fund strives to keep the enjoyment level up, while hopefully raising money for a great cause.  For tickets and donation information visit the Fund’s website at or email at

The John Thomas and Special Friends Fund is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was established in 2009 by April and Shawn Wilmar of Dedham, Massachusetts, in honor of their special needs son, John Thomas, and is dedicated to assisting, encouraging, and promoting the health, happiness, education, development, and overall well being of special needs children, as well as the medical and educational institutions and social organizations that care for and support special needs children.  April and Shawn have appreciated the care that John Thomas has received and the progress that he has made thus far and are dedicated to giving back to the special needs community to assist other special needs children in their overall development.

If you would like further information about The John Thomas and Special Friends Fund, or to schedule an interview with April or Shawn Wilmar, please call April Wilmar at 617-650-1179 or email at  Please also visit the Fund’s website at:  Donations can be made directly on the website.