The TD Bank Hometown Hero for the month of December has been serving the Long Island community for over 20 years. While fighting a brain tumor in 1992, a then 17-year-old John Theissen decided to do more than just fight the disease, but to also help others who were fighting alongside him.
John founded the John Theissen Children’s Foundation, to provide support for patients battling illnesses.
The foundation came to be after John and his family befriended a seven-year-old girl named Tasha at the hospital during John’s stay. Tasha’s positive spirit and attitude inspires John to host a toy drive benefitting children in local hospitals.
Since that initial toy drive over 20 years ago, the foundation has collected over 800,000 toys and donated them to sick and underprivileged children across Long Island.
The John Thessien Children’s Foundation doesn’t just help collect and donate toys, but also provides families with financial assistance to defray medical expenses. The foundation also helps to provide hospitals and child-care facilities with therapeutic and recreational equipment.
At the Islanders home game on Dec. 28 against the New Jersey Devils, Eric Fishon, VP of Suburban New York Marketing at TD Bank, helped to honor Theissen. In addition to being recognized on the scoreboard, Theissen received an award from TD Bank.
“The Hometown Hero program gives us the opportunity to recognize people in the community for the heroic work that they do,” Fishon said. “That’s why we initiated this program with the Islanders. They are our hometown heroes; regular people doing really great things and tonight is the definition of that.”