Frankie’s Heroes honored at luncheon

March 12, 2013 Denise Romano
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The Francesco Loccisano Memorial Foundation honored the 2013 Frankie’s Heroes at a luncheon held at the Dyker Beach Golf Club on Sunday, March 10.

“Frankie had an appreciation for good people who did good things. Now in his memory, we aim to applaud these children who exemplify the right values,” explained Camille Orrichio Loccisano, of her son who died from cancer and in whose memory the foundation is dedicated.

This year, the honorees included: Salvatore Barcia, a college-age student with Crohns disease and a volunteer EMT; Ebony Cadet, a Bishop Laughlin Memorial High School student who regularly volunteers; Brian Doyle, a Kingsborough College student who is a member of the Rockaway Point Volunteer Fire Department; Michael Guglielmo, who received the award in memory of his son Giovanni; Alyssa Guillen, a sophomore at Bishop Kearney who is a team captain for Relay for Life; Angelia Nicole Lubrano, a third grader at Leif Ericson Day School who organized a drive for Sandy victims; Brigid McEvoy, a student at Genesis at Xaverian who chaired a drive for backpacks for underprivileged children out of her home; Nicole Mullan, a St. John Villa Academy senior who was left partially blind by a rare and sudden condition; Eduard Nogay, a Fort Hamilton High School student and volleyball player diagnosed with sarcoma cancer; Xander O. Pond, a six-year-old Princeton Elementary student diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma; Bridget and Mia Shaughnessy, who are displaced Sandy victims attending St. Ephrem’s who regularly visit the elderly; Emily Shrem, a student at Yeshiva of Flatbush diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma; Madison Utrecht, an eighth grader at Midwood Catholic Academy whose mom is battling cancer; and Christiana Vazquez-Rivera, a Fontbonne senior who has juvenile diabetes and regularly volunteers at school and in her community.

Guglielmo was honored in memory of his infant son, Giovanni, who was diagnosed with a rare genetic immune disorder at five months old and died when he was five years old.

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“He was an inspirational child who inspired over 55,000 people to join a bone marrow drive from America to Italy,” Guglielmo explained.

The Pope even gave Giovanni an Apostolic blessing before he died. Guglielmo said that the bone marrow drive helped 185 people find matches.

“They have a second chance to live,” he said. “We are hoping to build collaborations so we can save more lives.”

New York City Police Department Chief of Transit, Joseph Fox, was the special guest of honor.

“My sister Veronica and brother-in-law John lost their son and my godson, Firefighter Michael Roberts, on September 11. That gave me a personal connection to parents who have lost a child,” Fox explained.

“Thanks to a couple of friends, who made sure I knew about Frankie’s passing, I became acquainted with them and friends with Camille,” he went on. “Like so many responded with support, strength and love for each other after the towers fell, Camille, Frankie’s grandma, family and friends responded with love, strength and courage — as did in their own particular way, each of the heroes honored here today.”

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