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A child in need, a hero who steps up — and you

Photo Credit: The Scimeca Family
Photo Credit: The Scimeca Family
Photo Credit: The Scimeca Family

YOU CAN HELP: Whenever Sean McCann blocks a shot this season, he’s not doing it just for Park Ridge High School – he’s also helping raise $150,000 for a life-saving kidney transplant for a 15-month-old boy who has captured hearts throughout North Jersey. But here’s the “kicker”: We can all back him up.

Sean McCann, Gavin Scimeca (COURTESY: Michael McCann)

Sean’s dad is River Vale Police Chief Michael McCann. Gavin Scimeca’s father is an officer with the department.

Gavin was born June 4, 2010 with Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease (ARPKD).

Bergen County volunteers have pledged to raise the family’s $150,000 out-of-pocket cost toward a transplant that doctors at New York Presbyterian Hospital say he needs to survive.

Sean, wanting to do his part, came up with “Saves For Gavin,” which so far has produced nearly $9,000 in straight donations and pledges of $40.10 for every blocked shot, Chief McCann told CLIFFVIEW PILOT.

“This kid deserves to live a healthy life,” his son said. “We really appreciate these donations.”

Through five games, Sean has given up only six goals and blocked 51 others – including 26 in a scoreless tie last week against Midland Park, producing a single-game high of more than $1,000. The senior goalkeeper characteristically credited his teammates with playing the kind of defense that he said makes his role easy.

Sean is aiming for $15,000 before the season ends next month, triple his original pre-season goal. It’s not exactly a stretch, considering that the talented net-minder last year led the Owls to the North 1 Group 1 sectional semifinals with 102 saves.

PHOTOS Courtesy: The Scimeca Family

“He is a great kid and I am very proud of what he is doing and has done in his young life,” Chief McCann told CLIFFVIEW PILOT. “He has been working tirelessly on this.”

The chief is the link between his son and the Scimeca family – including Gavin’s dad, Anthony, and mom, Tara.

Earlier this year, Tara told CLIFFVIEW PILOT that the family is extremely grateful for the support they have received from the community, including a host of area businesses that include Banchetto Feast and Pompilio’s Pizza, both of Westwood; Davey’s Irish Pub and The Porter House, both of Montvale; Blue Moon of Woodcliff Lake; and Ridgemont Liquors of Park Ridge.

Dozens more businesses have posted fliers and actively participated in fundraisers, as have the Westwood Elks, among others too numerous to mention.

There’s also assistance from the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, a 25-year-old national charity dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for transplant-needy patients (COTA’s services are completely free of charge, and 100% of the funds generated by its campaigns go directly to transplant-related expenses).

Still, there’s much more to do – and not a lot of time to do it — before the community can help the Scimecas, and little Gavin, reach the goal.

That’s where YOU come in.

Print out the form below, fill it out and send a pledge or donation. Or email:

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