Written by Rachel Shapiro Friday, 26 March 2010 00:00
On March 13, in the midst of a storm that left tens of thousands of people without electricity, Ann Torcivia and the Levittown Kiwanis forged ahead and held the “Everything Irish” kick-off event to the “Spirit of Ireland” trip fundraiser. In the Feb. 5 issue of the Levittown Tribune, an article entitled, “Levittown and Westbury Travel Agents Team Up to Fundraise in Memory of Loved Ones,” detailed Torcivia’s, owner of Friends Travel in Levittown, fundraiser as a way to remember her son, Joey, who passed away 10 years ago.
Torcivia’s friend, Christine Markus, also a travel agent in Nassau County and Queens, joined her in remembering her husband, Chris, who passed away less than four years ago. Torcivia and Markus are selling $10 raffle tickets for an eight-day “Spirit of Ireland” trip for two people with airfare from JFK, a stay at a first-class hotel and 90 percent of meals paid. Torcivia, Markus and the Levittown Kiwanis, who are also sponsoring the fundraiser, held the March 13 event, where the band “Midlife Crisis” performed.
Despite the storm, 84 people attended the kick-off event, held at Tequila Murphy’s, formerly PJ Finnegan’s, in Levittown. Torcivia said they raised enough money from the open bar and admissions costs to purchase one pediatric trauma kit. They hope to raise enough funds for a second kit, one to be donated in Chris Markus’ name and one in Joey Torcivia’s. This kit will be donated to Nassau University Medical Center.
“They are in desperate need to teach the doctors how to use them,” Torcivia told the Tribune. “At least these kits will be used, most of these kits sit in an ambulance and never get used. So it’s a good thing.”
Also at the event, Torcivia presented the first “Joey Torcivia Live Life to the Fullest” award to Joey’s first grade teacher at Bowling Green Elementary School in Westbury, Ann Pinelli. Pinelli got a certificate and a cruise for two.
“She had to deal with telling the class that Joey has passed way,” Torcivia said. ”She handled it with class, love and professionalism. She truly changes the lives of her kids.” Torcivia said Friends Travel would give out the award each year to a deserving person who was instrumental in changing the life of a child.
Torcivia and the Kiwanis are planning another fundraising event soon.