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Cancer survivor leads walk for 'Frankie's Kids'

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

13-year-old cancer survivor will be leading the way for hundreds of participants in a charity walk in Bay Ridge to benefit a foundation named for a teenager who died of the disease.
 
Daniel Fortunato, Jr. will serve as the grand marshal for the First Annual Walk to the Bridge for Frankie’s Kids, on Saturday, Sept. 15, from the 69th Street pier to 101st Street and Shore Road.
 
The Frankie in “Frankie’s Kids” was Francesco Loccisano, a Xaverian High School student who died of pediatric cancer in 2007. Following his death, his mother, Camille Orrichio Loccisano, started the Francesco Loccisano Memorial Foundation in his name to help children with cancer and their families. The late Tom Kane, who was a columnist for the Bay Ridge Eagle, was a member of the foundation’s board of directors. Kane died of cancer last year.
 
Daniel Fortunato, Jr. was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of five. His family lived in Brooklyn for many years, but now resides in New Jersey. He inspired his entire family and community with his courage and strength while receiving treatments to cure the leukemia, according to the walk’s organizers, who said he is a symbol of hope for cancer patients.
 
Participants are expected from all over Brooklyn, as well as Long Island, Westchester, and New Jersey, according to the event’s organizers. The walk to the bridge is co-chaired by Claudia Anzalone and Sandra Speer, two of the foundation’s board members. “Frankie and my son, Gennaro, were best friends,” Anzalone said. “In Frankie’s name, we are very happy to salute children with cancer via this event, and we thank our many supporters for such an enthusiastic response.”
 
Anthony Marino, co-founder with Kane of brooklynOne, a theater and film group, is organizing a team called “In the Name of Kane,” in Kane’s memory to take part in the walk. “This was an extremely important cause for Tom,” Marino said. “The goal is to do something super positive and raise a lot of money for charity while we're at it.”
 
Marino, who recently changed the name of his arts group to brooklynONE Productions, Inc., said the Francesco Loccisano Foundation, is a cause “that is extremely close to our hearts.” Putting together the team to take part in the walk “was a natural step for us, and we were honored to be asked to walk with the banner on the day of the event” he said.
 
A major promoter of the walk, CBS-FM 101.1, will be there to energize the crowds at the 69th street pier where registration begins at 8:30 a.m.
 
Lexus has partnered with the foundation as sponsors via their dealerships of Manhattan, Queens and Bay Ridge. Additional sponsors include Costco, Exquisite Look Renovations, LLC., Sollazzo & Marangelli, LLP, FoodTown, Inc.,G&S Produce Corp, Rocco’s Calamari, A&S Pork Store, Casa Calamari, Marine Park 3on3 Basketball,Inc., SINY DJ, and PC Bar & Grill.
 
To donate funds, or to register for the walk, visit http://www.crowdrise.com/WalkToTheBridgeForFrankiesKids
 
Walkers may also register on morning of event. For more information, call 917-496-7534.
September 10, 2012 - 9:55am


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