BAY RIDGE — One of Bay Ridge’s hardest working community advocates suffered significant injuries in a moped accident on Thursday, Nov. 7, while staying in Bermuda. Initially the prognosis seemed grim for Chip Cafiero, with reports of fractured ribs and collapsed lungs.
An updated report says that Cafiero had five fractured ribs and that one of the ribs had punctured his lung. He also sustained numerous bruises, according to former State Sen. Marty Golden, a lifelong friend of Cafiero’s.
“His family flew down to Bermuda to be with him,” Golden told this paper. “The good news is that he’s going to be fine. But he still can’t leave the island and he can’t take a plane. And he won’t be able to come back by ship until next Friday at the earliest. He’s still under strict doctor’s care.”
Emil (“Chip”) Cafiero has spent his whole life in Bay Ridge. He’s been involved with a number of community organizations over the last 45 years, most notably as the event manager of the Third Avenue Festival. He has also created and run the Fifth Avenue Festival and the 86th Street Bensonhurst Festival since their formation 25 years ago.
Cafiero was recently honored at the BRAVO Volunteer Ambulance’s 45th anniversary dinner for his civic leadership, along with Golden.
“We go back to when we were kids,” said Golden. “We grew up together. We were both brought up to give back and if anyone gave back, Chip did. Third Avenue, Fifth Avenue, Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Christmas lights, the concert series — Chip did it all.”
Because the hospital in Bermuda does not accept insurance from non-residents, a GoFundMe page was set up by Cafiero’s friend Donna Byrnes along with members of Cafiero’s family to help with the costs of his hospital stay.
“Chip is a very proud person and he’s going to be so mad at me for doing this, but you know Chip gives so much to the community that it’s his turn to receive,” said Byrnes, who added she was also planning to help organize a benefit for him.
Golden was just happy to learn that Cafiero is steadily improving. “We do expect to see him back, but he is a hurting puppy right now. Hopefully, he’ll feel better as each day goes by. But the important thing is that he’s going to be okay,” Golden added.
To donate towards Cafiero’s injuries, visit https://bit.ly/2qNGhLa.