When 12-year-old Geoffrey Alintoff of Marlboro was given an Imagine Dragons concert ticket for Hanukka last year, he had no idea the March 8 show would mark the beginning of a highly successful mitzva project.
From his seat in the Izod Center in the Meadowlands, Geoffrey listened to the band’s lead singer Dan Reynolds give an emotional speech about his friend Tyler Robinson, a teenager who had just died of Rhabdomyosarcoma, a type of cancer. Reynolds also spoke about the foundation his band and the Robinson family had started to raise funds to cover “unseen” costs for families with children suffering from cancer. These costs include mortgage payments, day care, food, and utility bills.
Geoffrey was both inspired and ready to take action. With the help of his mother, Jill, he reached out to the Tyler Robinson Foundation and learned of ways he could support the brand-new charity.
Today, with the help of his family and several of his friends and own bandmates, Geoffrey has raised nearly $7,000 for TRF, and he doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon. He is planning a dance party at his alma mater, Congregation Sons of Israel Preschool and Kindergarten in Manalapan. Noble Productions has agreed to donate their DJ services to the fund-raiser.
Geoffrey is also planning a benefit concert through his music school, Music University in Freehold, where he plays guitar in two bands.
“I just feel the need to help,” said Geoffrey, explaining that “if anything like this happened to me or my sister,” he would appreciate help from others.
Geoffrey began raising funds by setting up stands outside local shops to sell car magnets he had made featuring the TRF logo. He hopes the logo will one day be as recognizable as “the pink ribbon,” recognized widely as the symbol of the fight against breast cancer.
For Geoffrey, “it’s more than just raising money and sending a check,” said his mother. “Geoffrey’s a very motivated kid in general,” and over time this cause has “become part of him.”
For his dedication to TRF, Geoffrey, along with his immediate family, was invited to sit on the board of directors of TRF, which includes Imagine Dragons band members, who scored a huge hit with their single “Radioactive.” Officially, Jill took the spot on the board, but she votes on behalf of her family.
In 2011, Tyler Robinson was 16 and suffering from rare soft tissue cancer when he attended an Imagine Dragons concert in his native Utah. Tyler’s brother Jesse had sent an e-mail to the band beforehand, asking if the musicians would meet with his ill brother, who was a huge fan of the group. The band dedicated their song “It’s Time” to Tyler that night, and when the teen died at age 17, the members contacted his family about starting a foundation.
Geoffrey dedicates his time and energy to help ease the financial stress of families dealing with difficult situations similar to what the Robinson family endured. Although he began this as a “mitzva project,” Geoffrey said, “I still want to go above and beyond with it” in the future. He added, “I have learned that just one person can make a huge impact.”
To support Geoffrey’s efforts to raise money for the Tyler Robinson Foundation, visit youcaring.com and search: “Help Geoff’s Mitzvah Project to Slay Cancer with Dragons.”