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Charity to replace money stolen from child's surgery fund

By Ashley Vaughan, CNN
A March 1 surgery to construct Aidan Sullivan's right ear will go on as scheduled thanks to a New York charity.
A March 1 surgery to construct Aidan Sullivan's right ear will go on as scheduled thanks to a New York charity.
  • Charity donates $7,000 to replace cash reported stolen from child's medical fund
  • Founder said he was touched by Aidan Sullivan's story
  • Surgery to replace Aidan's missing right ear is scheduled for March 1
  • Surgery
  • Crime
  • Danbury

New York (CNN) -- The first of three surgeries needed to construct the right ear of 9-year-old Aidan Sullivan came one step closer during the weekend after a New York charity donated $7,000 to replace money stolen from a fundraiser.

Aidan's parents, Tim and Colleen Sullivan, received a call from The Vincent Crotty Memorial Fund of Suffern, New York, on Saturday to tell them it would contribute $7,000 toward the cost of the boy's upcoming surgery.

"They heard about our story on the news and in the papers," Colleen Sullivan said. "They called us up and came over and presented us with the check."

She said she and her husband "feel honored" that the charity chose their son, who suffers from a congenital disorder that has caused deformities in his jaw and skull. The money replaces cash reported stolen after a fundraiser in Connecticut last weekend.

Danbury, Connecticut, police Lt. Tom Michael said $7,000 in cash and $1,000 in checks were missing after a November 20 event sponsored by the Ancient Order of Hibernians, an Irish Catholic fraternal organization.

Peter Crotty, whose charity's contribution matches the missing cash, said the donation "seemed like the right thing to do." Crotty said he read about the stolen donations on Thanksgiving and was saddened by the emotional distress inflicted on the Sullivans.

Crotty founded his charity after the March death of his 18-year-old son and his son's best friend, Chris Konkowski, in a car accident while driving to baseball practice. He said Aidan's story caught his attention because of his own family's experience, "because it was about a young boy and the emotional sadness and anxiety that people feel due to loss."

Crotty said his organization has received four other contributions nationwide from families who want to get involved.

The $7,000 will go toward a scheduled March 1 procedure needed to reconstruct Aidan's missing right ear. While this will not cover all of his needed surgery, his parents are said they were grateful and excited.

"I was crying and touched," Colleen Sullivan said. "There was this feeling of everything is going to be OK."