Not just ice cream: Bensonhurst bands together to raise funds for hurricane victims

Piggybacking off of her recent fundraiser for Houston, Texas, Maria “The Ice Cream Girl” Campanella hosted yet another night of giving back in Bensonhurst on Wednesday, September 20 — this time, for all victims of recent hurricanes.

The event — appropriately titled “We [Love] Southeast U.S.” — raised funds for the American Red Cross to help victims of all parts of the United States and beyond affected by recent natural disasters and storms, such as Irma, Jose and Maria. This was Campanella’s second fundraiser this month.

The fundraiser took place, yet again, at Cafe Di Giorno (at the corner of Avenue U and West 11th Street) from 7 to 11 p.m. and included food, desserts and — as always — incredible live entertainment.

“I heard about what was coming and I said to myself, ‘These people are in danger; they’re in big trouble,'” Campanella said. “I said, ‘We gotta do something.'”

Specific to this fundraiser, Campanella said, was a special taping of “Road Trip with Ron Rondon.” Attendees were encouraged to bring their best trivia knowledge and take part in the fun. Winners received gift cards to a number of local businesses.

“It doesn’t matter where something bad is happening in the world, it’s a matter of, do I have the time and energy,” Campanella said of picking her causes. “This time, I said, ‘I have the time, and I’ll make the energy.'”

As for the turnout, Campanella was blown away.

“It worked out perfectly,” she said, adding that night-of, she raised a total of $300. “The next day, my friend calls me up and says, ‘Maria, I’m gonna match it.'”

That brings Campanella’s grand total to $600 for the American Red Cross. That, on top of last event’s $853, brings her grand total to more than $1,400 for charity.

“I could’ve just sat home and said, ‘Ya know what, I’ll just spend $10 and do my part.’ I could’ve just stayed home and did nothing,” she said. “But now we’ve got $1,400 and everybody had a great time.”

Campanella — extending thanks once again to a bevy of friends, family members and avid volunteers — made sure to thank, specifically, Cafe Di Giorno as well as her friend Robert Marshal for their support time and time again.

She plans to host another fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Maria next Wednesday, October 4 at a yet-to-be-announced location.

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