Community helps families get back on their feet by organizing fundraisers

In an effort to try to bring some normality back into the lives of the four Bay Ridge families who were displaced after a fire ripped through their homes on June 21, the community has organized two fundraising events to raise money and extend a helping hand.

Three of the homes were severely damaged, and one was completely destroyed. As a result, the Railey, Moore, Feeney and Howe families have all been forced to leave their Colonial Road and 81st Street homes.

The families have received an outpouring of support from the neighborhood. Moments after the terrible incident, neighbors, friends and family members began showering them with necessary items. Hours later, Christina Marotto, a neighbor who has known the families her entire life, got together with community members and decided to start collecting American Express Gift Cards.

“It’s basically the same as giving cash but any type of gift card will do – especially one from any local business in Bay Ridge,” Marotto stated.

Bay Ridge has once again proven that they are one big family supporting anyone in need.

The first of two fundraisers will be a concert, which will take place on Sunday, July 8 at the Salty Dog—Third Avenue and 75th Street. It will be an all-day event starting at noon and featuring Frankie Marra and His Band (special guests include John Rafferty and Andrew Gerardi), Head N’ South, The Ridge, High Tides, Cassone, D’Emic and Lepore with Bauer, Radio Daze and Atomic Dog.

Tickets will cost $25. Every penny will go directly to the four families in need.

The second fundraiser will be a reprise of the successful “Trouble at the Tropicabana” dinner theater production, on August 11 and 12.

As more efforts are launched, it is important that the community knows who to go to in case they’d like to help.

The “Helping Hands Project” was a group created by friends of the families and several community leaders in an effort to help coordinate the relief and fundraising events.

Inna Trinidad, owner of the Third Avenue toy store Kaleidoscope, has donated $500 to the families’ children so that whenever they’re ready, they can come in and get new toys.

In the meantime, anyone who wishes to donate a gift card can drop it off at the office of Councilmember Vincent Gentile, 8703 Third Avenue, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; the office of State Senator Martin Golden, 7408 Fifth Avenue, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Play Days and Parties, 6632 Third Avenue, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; or Gabriel Pediatrics, 7715 Fourth Avenue, from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. After 5 p.m., donations can also be delivered to the Marotto family, 169 81st Street.

Additionally, people from out of the area can mail contributions to St. Mary’s Church, 8005 Ridge Boulevard, Brooklyn NY 11209. Checks should be made out to St. Mary’s Church. Please mark the envelope and the check ATTN: Helping Hands Project.”

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