STROUD TOWNSHIP — ‘Tis the season for holiday parties, and there was an extra special party in the Poconos for kids with disabilities on Sunday, and the host was a 12-year-old boy.
Newswatch 16 introduced you to Eryk Crespo earlier this month as he planned to throw the party.
The party was at Great Wolf Lodge near Tannersville. Kids and their families were all enjoying a good time thanks to little Eryk.
Eryk has spinal muscular atrophy, a muscle condition that keeps him from enjoying a lifestyle like so many other kids, but that could not stop Eryk from helping others like him.
“He’s really special, he’s our second oldest, he thinks of everyone else but himself,” said Erica Dmeza, Eryk’s mother.
Eryk’s mom said he came up with the idea for “Eryk Shares the Power of Christmas” a little more than a month ago. He wanted to put a smile on the faces of other kids with disabilities, and so a big effort was underway to make this party a reality.
“It’s actually awesome and with the snow, I didn’t think anyone was going to show up. It went from 10 people to 85-100 kids showing up,” said Dmeza.
Eryk was worried too, he wanted so badly to share in all the fun, the face painting, and pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
“It feels really good to see all these people here,” said Eryk.
“When he saw all the kids lined up around Santa he said ‘mom I’m happy everyone showed up,'” said Dmeza.
Not only did everyone show up, but Eryk’s party was a success! So many kids got to enjoy the party and their parents, like Kerry Benincasa, were able to share in something special.
Her son Michael also has SMA, and the party was a way for her to meet others facing the same struggles.
“It was really cool to get that invitation and be like, oh my gosh, there’s a child older than Michael in my area who is strong and happy, is thriving and is living,” said Benincasa.
Each child was given a toy to take home, made possible by donations to Eryk and his family.
Perhaps the greatest gift of all was Eryk knowing he made a difference in the lives of kids like him.
“Everything you can dream, you can make become a reality,” said Eryk.
Dmeza said Eryk asked her if any leftover toys can be given to children in the hospital. She of course, said yes.