A fundraiser was held on Wednesday, February 20 for Julia Giammona, a Bensonhurst native with Cerebral Palsy.
The benefit dinner, held at Italian eatery Mama Rao’s in Dyker Heights, attracted a large crowd made up of family members, friends and brand new supporters to Giammona’s cause.
Giammona, a recent graduate of St. Francis College, wants to do what most other young adults do: drive a car; however, her condition, which is characterized by impaired muscle function, requires that her car be outfitted with special modifications to allow her to do so. An organization has offered to make those modifications, which normally come at a steep price – nearly $120,000. However, with their help, Giammona, would only be responsible for buying the brand new van.
The Giammona family had already spent so much over the years sending Julia to Poland for special physical therapy that a fundraiser was announced to help offset the cost of the vehicle. Giammona’s cousin, Mary Cumella, helped plan the event, which collected various monetary donations, as well as gift baskets. In total, $25,000 of the $30,000 needed was raised, and Giammona and her family are tremendously appreciative.
“It felt great to be surrounded by unconditional love and support from friends, family and people I had the privilege of meeting the night of,” said Giammona. “Everyone made the night so fun and we all enjoyed ourselves. I can’t thank everyone enough for all their donations and I’m beyond grateful.”
Giammona remarked that although they did not quite reach their goal, she felt blessed for having received as much as she had. A GoFundMe page is still active for the cause, and anyone interested can still donate at gofundme.com/julias-car.