The Bronx Chamber of Commerce and the NYC Housing Police helped put a smile on the face of a youngster who has been through a personal tragedy.
The Chamber and Police Service Area #8 threw a birthday party for Jeremy Rolon, a 10-year-old who witnessed his father Raul Rolon murdered on the ninth floor of a building in the Castle Hill Houses.
Rolon was stabbed to death, after two men whom he had asked to stop sitting on his car came back to take revenge, as his wife and son looked on.
Bronx Chamber CEO Lenny Caro presented Rolon with an autographed baseball signed by New York Yankee Francisco Cervelli, a bat, and a Yankee ring after learning through a friend, Gerry Arrighi, that Rolon was a big Bomber fan.
At the birthday party for Rolon, Caro presented the boy with those gifts, and the Police Department’s Public Service Area #8 housing police brought their own, as they enjoyed a barbecue and ice cream birthday cake.
“I heard that the boy was a major fan of the Yankees, and it was a very compassionate story,” Caro said. “I was able to bring him a signed baseball, a bat, and a ring, and put a major smile on the kid’s face.”
Rolon was also given six tickets to Great Adventure by Caro. Thanks to an anonymous donation collected by Gerry Arrighi, the Police Department was able to purchase the cake and some presents for the young man.
He and his mother Rebecca Rolon were happy to receive the gifts, and were all smiles at the party at a relative’s house.
“I was able to get some funding to pay for the presents and the birthday cake,” Arrighi said. “I felt so terrible. It was the least I could do.”
Captain Kevin Malony, commanding officer of PSA 8, said that the party was an unusual gesture by the police, but given the nature of the tragedy, was appropriate.
“This is unusual, but the kid’s story touched our hearts,” Maloney said. “So when we heard that his birthday was just around the corner, PSA 8 wanted to do something special for him.”
After all that had happened in the three weeks prior to the party on Tuesday, May 24, Maloney said that the smile Jeremy Rolon had on his face made it all worth it.
“Just looking at him now, you would never know it had happened,” Maloney said at the party.
Caro walked away from the celebration feeling an air of satisfaction and said he will invite Jeremy to accompany Yankee players when they visit the Jacobi Medical Center Pediatrics Unit.
“Hopefully this child will go onto lead a full life,” Caro said.