2017 Valentine Gala - Thank you!
DeCicco & Sons Partners with The Danny Fund in Heartfelt February Fundraiser
Ready to kick off The Danny Fund “Hearts” campaign at DeCicco & Sons Pelham are, from l. to r., Anthony Angelini (Front End Manager), Luisa De Cicco (Director of HR), Frank Torres (Assistant Store Manager), and Angelo Lucarelli, Jr. (Store Manager)
Chances are you’ve seen them before – store windows adorned with personalized sneaker-shaped cards or pink ribbons representing the generosity of hundreds of customers in support of various worthwhile organizations. Make a small donation at the register, typically in the $1 or $2 range, and your name appears as part of a colorful display of philanthropy for all to see. With a long history of altruistic support, DeCicco & Sons is no stranger to lending a hand – and a window - to such causes, participating in similar campaigns for national charitable organizations in support of research for both breast cancer and multiple sclerosis. When John Hynes, Board President for The Danny Fund, approached DeCicco & Sons’ Director of Human Resources and long-time Pelham resident, Luisa DeCicco, with his idea, she was happy to be part of this endeavor – both as a business owner and a community member.
During the month of February, customers in DeCicco & Sons Pelham store will have the opportunity to purchase “Hearts” during checkout in support of The Danny Fund, a Pelham-based organization created to help families throughout Westchester, the Bronx, and beyond dealing with the catastrophic illness or injury of a child. For every $1 given, the donor’s name will be written on a specially designed heart-card and proudly posted on the front window of the store facing Fifth Avenue – the perfect heartfelt Valentine. Virtually all the money raised – upwards of 95% of every dollar donated – will go directly to Danny Fund families struggling to navigate their “new normal”.
These modest donations can actually add up to big money for a small non-profit like The Danny Fund but equally as valuable is the awareness created by the program which can be extremely beneficial in terms of volunteer recruitment, ongoing donations, and making sure families in crisis know The Danny Fund exists and is available to help.
“Getting the word out about who we are and what we do is so important to our mission which is why we are really stepping up our outreach in 2017,” said Mr. Hynes. “This partnership with DeCicco & Sons is a great first step and dovetails nicely with our annual Valentine Ball on February 11th.”
The awareness component cannot be understated.
“I always knew of The Danny Fund and had a vague idea they did something to help sick children,” shared Ms. DeCicco. “But until I attended a recent board meeting I didn’t realize how much they really do for each family, how personally involved they are, beyond just providing financial assistance. They truly do “adopt” them into the larger Danny Fund family, which is so precious given that some of these families might be feeling a little lost or alone. It’s a remarkable dynamic.”
DeCicco & Sons’ participation in this program underscores their basic philosophy that “a life is only important when it has an impact on other lives.” When you see the phrase “Quality First” in the DeCicco & Sons’ logo and advertising throughout their seven supermarkets in Westchester and Putnam County, it is more than just a slogan about their business. It is a continuance of a 40-year family tradition that is applied to every facet of their lives, including patronage of the charitable causes and school districts in the communities they serve.
“We are so excited about launching this program with The Danny Fund and continuing to support this wonderful organization right here in our own backyard,” acknowledges Ms. DeCicco. “We really hope we can not only help them raise funds to continue their great work but also educate the community about all that they do.”
Stiefvater Real Estate Makes $1500 Donation
Long-time friend and Danny Fund supporter, Scott Stiefvater of Stiefvater Real Estate, presents check to Board President John Hynes.
Meridian Risk Management and Joan Solimine Real Estate Continue Their Support
Our friends at Meridian Risk Management and Joan Solimine Real Estate continue their support of The Danny Fund. Pictured left to right: Joseph Solimine Jr., Joan Solimine, John Hynes (Danny Fund Board President), Jeannine Foxx, and Pier Pos
Pelham Students Create Valentines for “Special Someones” They Have Never Met
For two hours on Saturday, January 28th Pelham middle and high school students worked hard to craft special Valentines for a group of some “special someones” they had never even met.
The Danny Fund, a local non-profit which provides financial, emotional and advocacy support for the families of local children suffering from a catastrophic illness or injury, hosted a Valentine card making event to show a little extra “love” for the children currently being supported by the organization’s efforts.
Led by Pelham resident and former art teacher (and mom of the little boy for whom the fund is named) Kathy Potocki, nearly one hundred students gathered in Pelham’s Town House armed with crayons, markers, stickers and an abundance of creativity.
“When Danny was in the hospital, we would get a bunch of hand-made ‘get well’ cards delivered, and it would just light up his face. Even though he was only four at the time it made a huge impression on him,” explained Ms. Potocki. “Our current Danny Fund kids all have their unique challenges and sometimes something as simple as a pretty card can make a big difference in their day.”
Ms. Potocki’s goal wasn’t for each kid to receive a handful of cards. Her hope was that dozens of kids sharing their artistic talent on a Saturday afternoon would yield dozens upon dozens of beautifully decorated cards for each of the five current Danny Fund kids – and the children who showed up to help did not disappoint. Each Danny kid received a beautiful basket overflowing with hand-made cards and heartfelt wishes.
“Even if some of our Danny kids are a little too young to understand, their parents get it. And I think they will feel a little less alone. I know I did,” continued Ms. Potocki.
The card-making event was the first of a number of Valentine-themed fundraisers scheduled in the next few weeks. Starting on February 1st and continuing throughout the month, DeCicco & Sons’ Pelham store is offering customers the opportunity to purchase “Hearts” during checkout – and for every $1 given, the donor’s name will be written on a specially designed heart-card and proudly posted on the front window of the store facing Fifth Avenue. On February 11th, The Danny Fund’s largest fundraiser, its annual Valentine Gala, was held at the New York Athletic Club -Travers Island .
The organization recently adopted a new summary of their mission: “Offering help. Offering hope.” While offering help in the form of financial support is an important component of what they do, “letting these families know they are not alone, that we can be a shoulder to lean on, a resource, is one of the ways we offer hope that things will get better,” shared John Hynes, Board President of The Danny Fund, “and these cards are a small example of that.”
News12 Westchester was on hand to cover the event live and you can see the kids in action by visiting here.