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Full of heart: HeartShare gala draws in big donations

Men of the hour: From left, Salvatore Calabrese, Dr. Dan Grimaldi, Gary Perone, and Blakely Page were honored for their advocacy and support at HeartShare’s annual Spring Gala and Auction.
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Downtown

Five bouquets to HeartShare for raising $500,000 at its 2017 Spring Gala and Auction on March 30 at the New York Marriott Marquis.

HeartShare honored Salvatore Calabrese of RE/MAX Metro; actor Dr. Dan Grimaldi; Gary Perone, Brooklyn Cyclones Assistant General Manager; and Blakely Page of Spouting Rock Financial Partners at the soiree. The honorees are long-standing advocates and supporters of the organization.

“I’ve been coming to this gala for a decade. My adult goddaughter participated in a HeartShare day program and I recently found out that my cousin has been receiving residential services from HeartShare for 25 years,” shared Gary Perone, recipient of The HeartShare Genie Foundation Award.

Adding to the funds, HeartShare was able to raise $40,200 during a mobile campaign. Guests texted their donations after viewing a video featuring Carol, who said, “When I was younger, kids would tease me, ‘Oh, you are handicapped. Oh, you can’t do anything.’ Today, I live, work and commute on my own and I’m proud to say, I can do more things than I thought I could do.”

Attendees included Bill Guarinello, HeartShare president and chief executive officer; Paul Torre, chairman of the board; actor Danny Aiello of “The Sopranos;” Dominic Chianese, Robert Iler, Jason Cerbone and Artie Pasquale; actress Barbara Feldon (“Agent 99”); actress Abigail Hawk of “Blue Bloods;” “Orange is the New Black” actress Barbara Rosenblat; Q104.3’s Shelli Sonstein; and Fox 5’s Ines Rosales.

Q104.3 Radio Host and long-time HeartShare Board Member Jim Kerr served as Master of Ceremonies. Fox 5’s Rosanna Scotto and actor Sean Ringgold, both on boards at the agency, encouraged the crowd during the mobile campaign.

HeartShare Human Services of New York (12 MetroTech Center at Myrtle Avenue in Downtown, www.heartshare.org).

Borough Wide

Hip, hip, hooray

Cheers and kudos to borough son Alexandro Hererra. The teen, who suffers from Tourette syndrome, was recently honored and inducted into the Tourette Association of America’s 2017 Youth Ambassador Program.

It is stressful enough traveling on New York public transportation with the big crowds and tight railway cars during morning rush hour. But for Alexandro, his experience commuting to school is so intensified by involuntarily movements such as rapid eye blinking and neck snapping that he can no longer attend his public school in the city.

The disease, which is severely misunderstood, affects one in 160 school-aged children. Most people only know it as the “cursing disease” but the reality is that at least one child in every school is suffering from a wide range of motor and vocal “tics” that range from disruptive to life-threatening, as well as comorbid disorders that go hand-in-hand with Tourette, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, depression, and more.

The program, which was an initiative launched in 2008, trains teens with and without Tourette to speak on national and local platforms about Tourette awareness and education.

Read Standing O every Thursday on BrooklynDaily.com!
Updated 1:34 am, July 10, 2018
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