A New Jersey dad who has completed races around the world raising funds for his son’s muscular dystrophy treatment claims the state’s gambling ban prevents him from auctioning off a Mustang for the charity.
Jim Raffone’s 11-year-old son Jamesy was diagnosed in 2013 with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a rare, but fatal disease that causes progressive muscle weakness, Patch.com reported. That same year, he and his wife Karen founded Jar of Hope to raise money for DMD research, according to Patch.
Raffone, who lives in Manalapan, has trekked the globe for the cause, Patch reported, completing days-long runs and walks through New Zealand, Australia and most recently, from Old Bridge, NJ, to Washington, DC.
But the pandemic has put a halt to his fundraising efforts, Raffone said, so he decided to auction off a Ford Mustang to make up for the gap. He planned to sell 1,000 tickets for $100 each to help support an experimental treatment that could extend the lives of children with DMD, as the average life expectancy is mid-20s. The experimental study costs $35,000 a month, Raffone said.
State officials, however, forced him to cancel the raffle, Raffone said.
“The State Attorney General’s office is telling us we can’t [raffle the car] … The Attorney General’s Office says state law prohibits online gambling,” Raffone told Patch.com.
Now Raffone is calling on State Senator Samuel Thompson and US Rep. Christopher Smith to help change the law.
“In New Jersey, you can bet on a horse or various sports events, to make a profit,” Raffone said. “But … you can’t buy a raffle ticket online, from a charity, to help save a child’s life? What’s wrong with this picture?”