A North Pocono teacher battling cancer will be the beneficiary of a Toy Bingo hosted by her friends to help cover her medical and other expenses. Ann Marie DeMuth, a Spanish teacher in the high school since 2016, is battling multiple myeloma, which is an overgrowth of plasma cells in the bone marrow. Despite having medical insurance, expenses related to her treatment are mounting.
“We had a benefit last year to raise money for this type of cancer because Ann Marie had done stem cell treatment and thought she’d be fine. When everything started happening again, we decided to have a benefit for her because her medical expenses are astronomical,” explained Carrie Fisher, Ann Marie’s friend and one of the event organizers.
Ann Marie, 47, is married to Jose “Pep” Pardo and has two children, Oscar, 11, and Elsa, 10. The family resides in Moscow and the children are students in the North Pocono School District.
Ann Marie has had a lifelong love of the Spanish language, something which started when she was only three years old and learned some Spanish words while watching “Sesame Street.” She began her study of Spanish by taking private lessons and discovered that she had a real affinity for the language.
Ann Marie has a masters degree in education from Marywood University. She has taught in the Pocono Mountain, Scranton, and North Pocono School Districts. She also spent time teaching at a private school in Spain, and that’s where she met and married her husband. Ann Marie loves teaching and enjoys being involved with the students.
Last year, Ann Marie was a sponsor for Mini-thon, which is a student -run group that organizes fundraisers and events for charities. Now, Ann Marie finds herself in need of some help from the community.
“Ann Marie is loving, kind, and funny. She absolutely loves the kids in her high school, and everyone just loves her. She’s the best person!” said Carrie, who first met Ann Marie when their sons were in Montessori preschool together.
In order to help Ann Marie and her family, Carrie and several of Ann Marie’s friends have organized a Toy Bingo fundraiser. The event will take place from noon until 5 p.m. on November 18 in the North Pocono High School cafeteria, 97 Bochicchio Blvd. in Covington Twp., but is not sponsored by the school district.
There will be 20 games of bingo during the event, with a variety of name-brand toys and electronics as prizes. There are also some of what Carrie referred to as “big prizes,” including American Girl dolls, large Lego sets, a bike, tickets for the Kalahari Experience, a tablet with keyboard, and a large Little Tikes house.
Bingo daubers, extra game cards, five special games, chances to win raffle baskets, pull tab instant bingo cards, and refreshments will all be available to purchase during the event. Event organizers are still accepting donations for the Toy Bingo and basket raffle and can be reached at the number below.
Tickets for the event are going fast, according to event organizers. To purchase tickets in advance, call Zandra at (570) 510-4033. Tickets cost $25 for adults, with kids’ packages available for children age 13 and under for $15. At the door, tickets will cost $30 for adults and $20 for children.
Those unable to attend the event can still make a donation to help Ann Marie and her family meet their expenses by visiting a GoFundMe page that Carrie set up. The page is available at www.gofundme.com/benefit-for-ann-marie-demuth.