Funds collected for quake victims

Senator Jeff Klein, members of the Morris Park Community Association, and the Quintessenza family, gathered on Friday, May 1, to announce the $18,500 raised for victims of the Abruzzo earthquake through the Italian Red Cross. (Top, l-r) Joseph Quintessenza, Rina Quintessenza, Sal Conforto, Gabriele Pacino, Senator Jeff Klein, Danny Cestaro. (bottom; l-r) Maria Quintessenza, Peter Marmorato, Anthony Oliva Photo by Victor Chu

Senator Jeff Klein and members of the Morris Park Community Association gathered on Friday, May 1, to announce the impressive collection of funds raised for Abruzzo Earthquake victims.

On Friday, April 24, over 200 attendees were present at the successful Earthquake Relief Benefit held at Meastro’s Caterers, located 1703 Bronxdale Avenue. One week later, Klein and the MPCA revealed that throughout the evening, approximately $10,000 was raised to help the victims.

“I’m so proud to see our community come together to support the victims of this horrible tragedy,” said Klein. “The effects of an earthquake of this magnitude are felt around the world, and we must do our part as human beings to reach out to those in need. Our hearts go out to all of Italy.”

In addition, Joseph Quintessenza, an attendee at the fundraiser and Morris Park businessman, decided to double the amount raised in honor of his son, Joseph Nicolas Quintessenza, who passed away from Leukemia in April of 2008.

“We find by helping others we are keeping his memory and spirit alive because that was the kind of person he was,” said Rina Quintessenza. “He was always so super friendly and always talking and listening to everyone.”

During the announcement, Klein, Quintessenza and members of the MPCA symbolically signed a check for $18,500 made out to the Italian Red Cross for relief of the disaster that killed nearly 300 people and displaced over 28,000 others.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved,” said Sal Conforto of the MPCA. “Senator Klein is a person who gets things done for this community and he was instrumental in making the fundraiser possible. And it is important to have people like Joseph, who are always willing to put in the extra effort for others.”

Klein will continue to collect donations, along with Francesca Falciano, owner of Creative Image, located 3162 E. Tremont Avenue, who has begun a collection to add to Klein’s total.

“I am first generation and have family all over Italy, and I am going to continue collecting as long as it takes to reach a decent amount,” said Falciano. “We already collected $50 in two days, and hope to get a lot more.”

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