Wheelchair can't stop thoughtful Roxbury kids

- Three middle-school students from Succasunna, one confined to a wheelchair, went door-to-door selling candy this summer to raise money for Emerline Tabares, a local young woman battling a brain tumor.

Jacob Kohner, 12, his brother Zachary Kohner, 13, and their 13-year-old friend Julia Kovacs raised $750 for Tabares, said the Kohners’ mother, Jill. “The kids wanted to do something that would help somebody within the community, not just raising money to fight cancer or help the homeless,which we’ve done,” said Kohner.

She said the youngsters learned about Tabares’ situation when Zachary was at this summer's Color Fun Run , where supporters of Tabares were collecting donations. “I called her and got her permission,” said Kohner. “She was ecstatic and started crying. Here were these 12- and 13-year-old kids who wanted to do something for her and they’d never even met her.”

The trio made a sign and, stuffing candy into a cooler, hit the streets of Succasunna. Keeping the candy from melting in the July heat was a challenge, but the biggest obstacle was Jacob's cerebral palsy, said Kohner.

“It was hard,” she said. “Jacob’s in a wheelchair. He’s handicapped and he was limited on where he could go. It’s not like he could actually do any walking. It was somebody pushing him … The first night they were out for four hours walking around trying to sell as much as they could.”

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