November 27, 2019 by NJSP
Earlier this week, Sergeant Burek and members from the Central Lab teamed up with the Sunshine Foundation Mercer County Chapter to donate Thanksgiving baskets to some much-deserving families.
The Sunshine Foundation’s mission is to answer the dreams of chronically ill, seriously ill, physically challenged and abused children ages 3 to 18, whose families cannot fulfill their requests due to financial strain that the child’s illness may cause.
Sgt. Burek has been a part of this organization for many years—not always from the helping side—but as a recipient of foundation’s genorosity.
At the age of 18 months, Sgt. Burek’s sister was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor in her left kidney. As a family of five with a sick child, his family struggled emotionally and financially. The Sunshine Foundation contacted his family and granted them a trip to their Dream Village in Florida and tickets to Disney World for a week. This trip gave his family the opportunity to have some fun and get away from the daily trips to St. Christopher’s hospital in Philadelphia.
His sister ended up beating cancer, however her kidney stopped functioning due to chemotherapy. She endured 2 years of dialysis before receiving a kidney transplant at the age of 15. She is now 32 years old and married with a child of her own.
Since 2006, Sgt. Burek has had the opportunity to represent the New Jersey State Police as a chaperon on the Mercer County Chapter Sunshine Foundation’s annual trip to Disney World, which departs from the Mercer County Airport on the first Tuesday in May.
Having been a part of this foundation for so many years and personally understanding the impact a sick child can have on a family, members from the Central Lab teamed up with the Sunshine Foundation’s Mercer County Chapter to provide a little help to deserving families for the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Sunshine Foundation was started in the 1960’s by a Philadelphia police officer named Bill Sample, who was assigned to a local children’s hospital. He encountered critically and terminally ill children and saw firsthand how their families were burdened not only by mounting medical bills, but also by the frustration of not being able to provide their children’s special dream.
For more info on the Sunshine Foundation please visit