Novi family reaps benefits from Yatooma Foundation

When tragedy struck Novi resident Trajche Sekuloski and his three children two years ago, he didn’t know where to turn.

His wife Mary had just died after a four-year battle with breast cancer, and Sekuloski was left to pick up the pieces.

But with the help of the Yatooma Foundation for the Kids, Sekuloski’s transition to being a single parent has been smoother than expected.

“It’s been very instrumental in helping the children cope with all the stuff that was going on around the house,” he said. “They have been very good to us and always there when we ask.”

The Yatooma Foundation has been around since 2003, and helps families struggling with the loss of a parent in numerous ways — from helping with bills to providing gifts during the holidays and more.

On Aug. 11, the foundation held an event at Novi Bowl for nearly 150 children, their families and supporters. Sekuloski and his son Atanas, 13, attended the event and bowled with another single parent and her two children.

He said being with all the people helped take his mind off the struggles.

“Sometimes you just need someone to listen to you,” he said. “When we find ourselves in groups like that it helps to have someone you can relate to and sympathize with.”

Norman Yatooma, founder and president of the foundation, said the goal is to get everyone together and forget for one night about what is going on in their lives.

For the Sekuloski family, it has helped for longer than that.

Sekuloski said they have provided him and his children, who also include Eliana, 19, and Alexander, 15, with various forms of aid, including helping him pay for going back to school and counseling.

And because of the impact it has made on his life, Sekuloski wants to eventually do the same for others.

“I made a promise to myself that when I get on good financial ground I will give back to the foundation,” he said.

For more on the Yatooma Foundation for the Kids, visit

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