Kit Steinkellner
Updated Aug 31, 2015 @ 10:23 am

When we think of Sweet Sixteens, we tend to think of Gatsby-level blowouts revolving around an out-of-control teen who has had, as the Berenstain Bears would say, “too much birthday.” This is probably a result of DVR-ing too many episodes of “My Super Sweet Sixteen” and being brainwashed into thinking that this milestone birthday can only result in reality-TV-level trouble.

Maggi Brown of Toms River, New Jersey is turning 16 in a few weeks, and for her Sweet Sixteen she’s asking for $16,000. Here’s the thing— it’s not for her. Maggi lost her sister Caiti to bone cancer seven years ago. In her battle against the disease, Caiti was assisted by The Frances Foundation, a nonprofit that gives aid to pediatric cancer patients and their families. Over the last 10+ years, the foundation has helped more than 1,000 pediatric cancer patients, giving $1.35 million in aid. When Caiti was undergoing treatment, her community raised $100,000 on her behalf, and a significant portion of that money came from the Frances Foundation. It was in part because of this help that Caiti made it to her prom and graduation before tragically passing away in November of 2008.

So now Maggi is giving back to the group that gave her sister so much. So far Maggi is crushing her mission to raise $16K for the group (awesomely titled “Maggipalooza”). She’s raised $10K for the group, and is hosting a charity walk on September 13th that, fingers crossed, will help make up the difference.

“Maggi is a giver,” her mom, Michelle Robinson, explained to Asbury Park Press. “She has been for 16 years. She has a lot of love for everybody.”

We are inspired big-time by Maggi celebrating the memory of her sister by paying it forward and giving to the group who helped her family so much, so that The Frances Foundation can help other families in the same way. We sincerely hope that Maggi starts a trend and that Sweet Sixteens morph into a milestone that is all about generosity and teens giving back to their communities that have been so generous with them.

To donate to Maggipalooza, you can visit visit her GoFundMe page. And for more information on the Frances Foundation, visit


(Image via iStock)