Lets Hear it for Renee!
Saturday, June 1, 2019 @5:30pm
Event informational flyer

All events take place at:

St Peter & Paul School
1433 Hamilton Ave NW, Grand Grand Rapids, MI 49504



Initial information form (.pdf)



J’s Journey Fundraisers
5428 Rockbluff Dr. NE
Comstock Park, MI 49321
Ph:616-785-3240 and Cell 616-292-5844
General Email: info@jjfundraisers.com

Email Mary Ann: maryann@jjfundraisers.com
Email Nick: nickfriar51@gmail.com

Mary Ann and her loving “crew” were indispensible in showing us how to put on a much needed fund raiser for a family member. Their experience, wisdom, patience and compassion lead us step by step in planning and facilitating an awesome event. It amazes me that they ask nearly nothing in return for such sacrifices.  The leadership they offered, not to mention the time they donated, will always be appreciated more than they know!
Thank you J’s Journey friends and may you be richly blessed for all that you do!
Kristine Bassett


I would like to thank Mary Ann and Nick Friar and all the volunteers for helping us have a sucessful benefit. We could have never done this without their guidance and help of my family and friends. If anyone ever needs help, please seek them out. Love to all.

Bill & Kathy Bookie

"My friends found out about J's Journey and decided to pursue a benefit with them to help me out. My lungs are failing and the money was raised to help with medical expenses.

Mary Ann and Nick are so caring and hold your hand through the whole journey. They truly care and it is quite apparent when you meet them, Mary Ann treats you like you are part of her family. My family and I are grateful for the help J's Journey gave us."
Joyce Jensen

I was recently talking at a Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Affiliate Meeting about what it was like to be a 6-year survivor of Pancreatic Cancer. I talked about speaking for all those who have lost their lives; for carrying souls when hearts failed; and for having a new mission to be extra kind. I was given a second chance--I am here under God's grace and reason...and there have been times that I have been carried...
When I was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in the spring of 2004, I was a single mom of four, and though I was working, I did not have insurance. I was very sick, very lost, and very afraid. Not only did God carry me, but my family, and friends, and community carried me. Nick and Mary Ann Friar were instrumental in organizing a fundraiser to pay for some of my staggering medical bills. They helped raise over $15,000 to help with my medications, my bills, my chemo, and with supporting my family. I will always be truly grateful and truly humbled. Thanks again, for carrying me when I needed it the most.

-Karen Thompson-Pancreatic Cancer Survivor

Although sometimes the miracles that we pray for are not always granted, they do happen!

Seven and one-half years ago my son Jim, 24 years old, was diagnosed with an advanced and rare form of cancer.

Without the guidance of Mary Ann and Nick and the many friends and family who gave of their time and talents, Jim's benefit would not have been a success. In a matter of six weeks to name a few: a website was launched, donations were collected for both a live and a silent auction, raffle tickets were printed and sold, flyers were distributed, food and beverages arranged, along with security for the parking lot.

The benefit was definitely a success! Not only did the money raised cover most of the expenses not reimbursed by insurance, which included travel and medical treatment outside of the USA, but the warmth and love of so many friends and family carried us as we celebrated Jim's life and many memories.

I will forever remember the "miracle of love" that transpired on November 2, 2002

-Sandy Zemaitis

In April  2005, our daughter, age 27 and our granddaughter, age 8, were murdered in their own home.  Our grandson, who was 4 at that time, was kidnapped following their murders and then left abandoned across town, not to be found until the following morning.  These tragic events, as you can imagine, devastated our entire family.

Our daughter was a single mom, going to school and trying hard to support her two children.  She had no life insurance nor did she have any extra money.

We faced expenses that were truly beyond our means with a double funeral, double cemetery plots, double headstones, etc.  We also needed to help our grandson thru his trauma by sending him to a child trauma specialist. To secure his future, we immediately decided to adopt him, therefore, the added expense of hiring a lawyer and a private detective. 

Our wonderful family and friends came together in November 2005 and had a fundraiser for us called “Jonathon’s Journey”.  Enough money was raised at that ONE fundraiser to pay ALL of the above-mentioned expenses.

We are truly thankful to Nick and Maryann Friar for their compassion to help others and for their wonderful organizational skills to help make “Jonathon’s Journey” so successful. 

We praise God for His amazing grace and His care to surround us with such love!

-Tom and Ruth Friar

Imagine you are living life, and everything is going well. Great family, great friends, and everything else genuinely great. The next thing you know, your partner for life is gone. Now imagine that the life insurance you have paying on for years is the wrong kind of insurance. Devastation hits you, hard. After having your partner pass, news like this is heavy. But we were lucky to have two very strong friends, Nick and Maryanne Friar. Thinking extremely selflessly, they asked if they could throw a benefit dinner to raise money that we greatly needed. Reluctantly, we agreed. It was unbelievable how quick and thorough they were with setting this up. . They handled everything, from entertainment, food, and drinks, to auction prizes, raffle tickets, and memory bracelets. However, the most important ingredient in this incredible concoction of two wonderful people was love. The love they put into that night surpasses the amount of water in the oceans. The outcome was phenomenal: all bills were paid in full, but even better, we had a sense of relief from the crippling debt that was sure to ensue. The two leaders, along with a literal army of volunteers, celebrated the life of my husband with us, and all who attended that magical evening. There is no way to thank them enough for all of their hard work, or for how much they love us. They have an excellent way of putting these benefit dinners together, and we will always be grateful to them. They have our recommendation to anyone who should ever need this type of service, because, simply put, Nick and Maryanne are the best at it.

-Cindy Zalenski

To whom it may concern,

On July 24, 2008 my brother-in-law and friend, Paul Zalenski suddenly passed away from a heart attack. He left behind a wife, my sister Cindy, three children and a grandson.

Needless to say, they were devastated, as was the rest of our family and his. Cindy was left with no insurance to cover hospital and funeral expenses. What to do next? Enter Nick and MaryAnn Friar. I have known these two wonderful people for many years through Cindy and Paul and there children. They are caring and compassionate people. What they did for Cindy and the kids was beyond outstanding. In two weeks time they got together with other great parishioners from St. Peter and Paul and held an auction and benefit dinner. All proceeds went to Cindy and her children. It was the best auction and benefit dinner I have ever been to. People stepped up to the plate organizing donations, decorations and putting together baskets to be auctioned off. All of this was done under the watchful eye of Nick and MaryAnn.

As if this wasn’t enough, Nick and other parishioners cooked all of the food for the burrito dinner, which was a sellout. MaryAnn organized everything on her computer, which included a video of Paul’s life as well as keeping track of all auction prizes. Everyone had a great time and a lot of money was raised to help defray expenses for Cindy.

I don’t know what all of us would have done if Nick and MaryAnn hadn’t stepped up. It helped all of us deal with our grief at this sudden passing of our friend, father, husband, brother-in-law, uncle, brother and grandfather. Without Nick and MaryAnn in our life, it wouldn’t be the same. God bless them for being great friends, and caring and amazing people. There should be more people like them in this world. Thank you for taking the time to read and hear about these two awesome people.


Therese Foley, Sister- in-law of Paul Zalenski and friend of Nick and MaryAnn Friar.

Mary Ann-

This email is to let others know what a great help you were to my family when my brother -in-law Paul died unexpectedly. In a matter of a couple of weeks you were able to put together a dinner/auction that was fun but most importantly raised much needed funds for the family to pay for funeral and daily expenses.

The auction was professional and organized. It was amazing to us that such an elaborate affair could be pulled off in such a short amount of time

Thanks we could not of done anything like this without you!

-Vicki Swendroski