Friends, family and the rest of the Dyker Heights community gathered at Indigo Murphy’s bar in Dyker Heights for the Giuseppe Parelli Hope for a Cure fundraiser on Thursday, June 30.
Together, the community raised over $10,000 for Parelli and his family. Sara Steinweiss, one of the organizers of the fundraiser and a family friend, was shocked at the turnout of the event.
“It was unbelievable,” said Steinweiss, who met 16-year-old Giuseppe after hosting a workshop at Kingsborough Early College Secondary School and knew, after hearing his story, that he was special.
Giuseppe suffers from Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) rare genetic connective disorder. In 2015, Parrelli was diagnosed with cancer from the disorder. The cancer affected his foot, which had to be amputated in December 2015.
The night included live music, karaoke, raffles and food. Hamilton Broadway tickets were auctioned off for $1,500, along with Mets and Cyclones tickets and a Coney Island boardwalk picture. Another $800 was raised by Giuseppe’s sister, Giavanna, after doing 38 cartwheels in one minute.
After months of planning and organizing, Steinweiss was glad to see the fundraiser come together and see the community rally around Giuseppe and his family.
“My only goal for the night besides raising the money was to see Giuseppe and his family have a night of love and laughter,” said Steinweiss.
Steinweiss, who has been holding events and fundraisers for over 10 years, said that she has never seen a turnout like this before. She believes the best part of the night was just seeing the smile light up on Giuseppe’s face.
“I am humbled and grateful to be a part of this community. This family truly deserves it,” said Steinweiss.