Tag Archives: James Lacerenza

Olio in Stamford Hosts Fundraiser for Local Hero James Lacerenza

18 Oct

facebook_-1821535583

James Lacerenza is the kind of person who never thinks about himself or his own happiness.  Instead, he’s always working hard, giving his time, energy, and heart into organizations that mean so much to him.  We’ve talked about James and his passions in the past, namely his fight to help those with muscular dystrophy.  In truth, he has raised more money than any of us will probably ever raise in our lives.  We’re talking over $135,000, yet that number climbs every year and with every event.

But, here’s the thing about James.  Because he cares so much about others and raising money, he doesn’t think about himself or his own needs.  We can understand his reluctance to reach out to others and to ask for help when he knows there are so many in the world that need help, love, and support, but we think it’s time to do more for him.  That’s why Olio has teamed up with Backyard Humanitarian to create a special fundraiser this coming Thursday.  All you need to do is stop by Olio in Stamford on 10/24 (we recommend you call (203) 817-0303 for reservations first) and eat up.  Steve and Moira will donate 20% of all sales and the staff has generously agreed to donate all of their tips.

Continue reading

Help Garden Catering Send Campers w/ Muscular Dystrophy to Camp Promise

11 Mar

Chris Ramirez for Garden Catering Norwalk CT

“I love Camp Promise because it gives me a week to hang around other kids with a similar disability and to be independent from my family. I think the work Camp Promise does is awesome!” – Ben (16)

“I like camp because of the interactions with people and the independence I get from my family. I would enjoy an awesome summer full of cool activities.” – Sam (15)

These two campers are talking about Camp Promise, an awesome week long summer camp in Hebron, CT. All campers who go there have muscular dystrophy and are treated to a wicked good time. Counselors provide them with exciting, educational, and entertaining activities that quickly become the highlight of their year. Plus, there is no charge at all for them to go to Camp Promise. Now you’re probably wondering how they get to go for free? Well, with help from good people like you, Garden Catering, and the City of Stamford!

Yes, these campers need your help, but it’s easy. Just come by Garden Catering on Main Street in Stamford on 3/15 (that’s officially Stamford Against Dystrophy Day) when 10% of all purchases go to Camp Promise. In addition to their killer specials, sandwiches, and meals, they will also be offering up some Irish favorites. We’re talking about freshly cut, lean corned beef boiled with Guinness that’s served with Idaho potatoes, sliced carrots, cabbage, and homemade Irish soda bread for just $10.95 per person. 

Continue reading

Local Community Bands Together to Send Campers with Muscular Dystrophy to Camp Promise

22 Feb

Last year we told you all about a great group of people coming together to help send kids and adults with muscular dystrophy to summer camp.  Normally, summer camps are too strenuous and aren’t built around the unique needs of these great campers, but Camp Promise East in Hebron, CT is anything but ordinary.  They have created a summer camp experience that becomes the highlight of each camper’s summer experience.  Here’s a bit of what campers do from The Jett Foundation site:

For younger campers, camp is a time to enjoy arts ‘n crafts, scavenger hunts, swimming, visiting animals, and other age-appropriate activities while enjoying the company of other campers who have similar physical needs. The week allows these campers to become comfortable around people in wheelchairs and other medical equipment, eventually easing the transition to using these devices. Inevitably, curious younger campers ask questions about the older campers’ conditions and sometimes their own. Our counselors are not only trained to handle these questions appropriately, but also look to parents for guidance in case these questions arise during the week.

 Older campers enjoy programming that caters to their needs. This includes later curfews, later wake-up times, exclusive pool hours, our Transitions Program, age-appropriate movies, and more. And, when we do have camp-wide activities like Casino Night, we make sure older campers get a little something extra out of the events. Theme Days challenge campers and volunteers to be creative and show off their best ideas. Forget Crazy Hair Day and Twin Day, campers of all ages enjoy dressing up with our unique themes like As Seen on TV, Inanimate Object Day, and Safari Day. As one parent put it, “Even packing for Camp Promise is fun.”

Continue reading

SBC Raises Money One Beer at a Time for Camp Promise East. Next Up: CT Challenge

22 Jul

Yes, James IS that awesome…

Waaay back on May 3 we told you about Southport Brewing Company hooking up their “Help Line” taps at all 5 locations.  The purpose of the “Help Line” that poured out “Sweet Emotion”?  Raising money for The Jett Foundation’s Camp Promise East in Hamden, Connecticut.  For each glass, SBC gave .50¢ that helped children and adults with muscular dystrophy get the chance to attend an awesome summer camp.  The fundraiser is the brainchild of James Lacerenza, who has an official day named after him in Stamford for the awesome work that he does and to bring awareness to muscular dystrophy.

Well, we’re pleased to announce that on Tuesday, July 24, SBC in Stamford will be presenting James with a check.  How much you ask?  Well, let’s just say that over 1,500 “Sweet Emotion” beers were sold.  No, no, that wasn’t just us drinking all those beers.  You can meet James and celebrate with him and SBC from 1-3 pm.  Stop by and show your support.

While you’re there, ask for the “Help Line” tap.  This time around, cancer survivors will benefit because each brew that is poured out between July and September means .50¢ towards the CT Challenge.  SBC plans to continue these fundraisers throughout the year and also plans to work with James again to raise money for Camp Promise East!

We decided to bother James and ask him a few questions.  Here’s about an hour of his time that we took away from his WWE watching and endless Facebook posting:

What will the funds raised by SBC mean to Camp Promise East?

I’ve worked with the Muscular Dystrophy Association since 1999, and I’ve raised over 100 thousand dollars for their camps since 2005. If what I saw at MDA’s camp in New York earlier this month was any indication of what the Jett Foundation’s own, separate camp for children and adults with muscular dystrophy will provide, then I can tell your readers that not only will the money raised sponsor one camper going to this week, it will mean inclusion, independence, and bonding with others who are going through the same life experiences and have a whole lot of fun.

How do you feel about the success of this fundraiser?

For our first year of doing this, and my first year of raising money for Camp Promise East and the Jett Foundation, I was genuinely shocked and touched that we were able to pull this off in such a short time frame and raise nearly $1,000. Next year, management at SBC and I both share in wanting to raise a higher total, but the real measure of success is me going to camp on August 1st when the people there will be having a Western themed day with adaptive activities related to being cowboys and cowgirls and a casino night that evening with poker and blackjack just for fun. To see the smiles on the campers faces is just as meaningful as any dollar figure we could produce.

What would you say to all the people who purchased a beer off the help line?

To SBC’s customers, I thank you, management thanks you, the Jett Foundation thanks you, and most importantly, the campers and their families thank you. You have provided them with the ability to participate in a special summer camp when realistically, it would otherwise be very difficult for these kids and adults to do everything camp offers in one specific location. There’s baseball, basketball, the kids get out of their wheelchairs and swim in the water. What people forget to realize is that muscular dystrophy is a group of some 40 plus genetic diseases that gradually rob those affected of their muscle function until they ultimately catch a minor cold and die – so to regenerate some of that strength in a pool alone is priceless.

Not to mention, at Jett’s camp, because there are teens and adults there who are living longer thanks to the public’s support of things like the MDA Telethon, we at Jett Camp are able to help their campers with job placement and relationship advice in a program we call “Transitions” – it’s the first of its kind in America.

Is there any other way for people to still help out?

People can still make pledges – just because MDA camp happened earlier this month and Jett camp is happening in two weeks, that doesn’t mean we don’t need their pledges – because we don’t charge the families of these campers at either place, we need money to cover not just their experiences, but all the supplies and food and the transportation and even the medical services should a camper get sick.

So I encourage people to think about their healthy children, and if they’re blessed enough to have healthy children, either come down to SBC in Stamford and see me this Tuesday, and we’ll take up a collection in a bucket like Jerry Lewis used to do on his telethons, or, if you can’t make it – go to my website http://www.mdactkids.org and give one dollar, five dollars, anything, to one or both camps. I don’t need people to pledge big amounts of money. I raise 20 thousand a year for these places because people give one dollar at a time.

***

Branford 850 West Main Street
Branford, CA 06405
W Main & Mathew Road
 
Hamden 1950 Dixwell Ave
Hamden, CT 06460
Cross Streets: Dixwell & Weybosset
 
Milford 33 New Haven Avenue
Milford, CT 06460
New Haven & Broad
 
Southport 2600 Post Rd
Southport, CT 06890
Cross Streets: Post & Pequot
 
Stamford 131 Summer St
Stamford, CT 06901
Cross Streets: Summer & Broad

Fighting Muscular Dystrophy One Shamrock, Flying Pig, and Nugget at a Time!

13 Mar

 

Did you know that March 17 is officially “Stamford Against Dystrophy Day”?  Well, it’s actually the third event that has been held to help raise money and awareness for the fight against Muscular Dystrophy under that title.  No telethons here, but the guy behind this, James Lacerenza, has other things in mind.  He has coordinated the sales of Shamrocks and Flying Pigs from 3-/14-3/17 that you can sign with your name, a message, or dedicate to someone you love.  Also nugget and cone lovers, rejoice.  Garden Catering (featured in our Valentine’s Day post) has agreed to help support Lacerenza’s cause on March 17.  All of the money raised will help support the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Muscular Dystrophy Summer Camp in Spring Valley, NY and Camp Promise East in Hebron, CT. I have worked in summer camps for the past few years as a summer gig which isn’t always so easy, but what they do at both camps is truly amazing and life changing.  Children and teenagers that have muscular dystrophy attend and they are given a chance to have a fun, awesome summer filled with excitement.

On the ConnectiKids site, James said:  “There are magical places where people with muscular dystrophy, a progressive and often fatal genetic disease which limits their ability to walk, talk and play, get to be just like any other person. For one week every summer, thousands of these special individuals get that opportunity thanks to organizations like the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and The Jett Foundation, which operates Camp Promise East (CPE).”

Where to Buy Shamrocks and Flying Pigs (from their FB page)

Also, help support this awesome cause by visiting Garden Catering.  According to Stamford Patch, you’ll be able to stop by at:

235 Main Street in Stamford, CT

2074 Black Rock Turnpike in Fairfield, CT

185 1/2 Sound Beach Avenue in Greenwich*

Even if you can’t buy a Shamrock or Flying Pig or stop in to get your cone and nugget fix at Garden Catering, remember that helping out is just a click away.

* By the way, does the Sound Beach Avenue location take you to Hogwarts?  What’s up with the 1/2? :)

%d bloggers like this: