On the Avenue: Ben-Bay Kiwanis Club supports boy battling rare genetic disorder

It’s going to be “a night of love” and “a celebration of life.”

Hundreds of supporters are expected to gather “on the avenue” to attend the annual “A Night of Love, A Celebration of Life” fundraiser hosted by Brooklyn attorneys Camille Fortunato and Stefano Filippazzo at El Caribe Country Club, 5945 Strickland Ave., on Friday evening, Nov. 3.

The event aims to generate much-needed resources for research into Williams syndrome — a rare genetic disorder that has personally affected the Filippazzo family.

The fundraising gala is organized under the auspices of the Anthony Filippazzo Grant for Williams Syndrome Research, established by the Williams Syndrome Association in honor of the couple’s son Anthony. The goal of the grant is to deepen the understanding of this medically complicated syndrome and potentially discover therapeutic drugs that could enhance health care outcomes for individuals with Williams syndrome.

Williams syndrome affects approximately one in 10,000 people worldwide and is characterized by cardiovascular disease and a variety of developmental and cognitive issues. Through their tireless efforts, the Filippazzos have sought to spread awareness of this condition and the unique struggles faced by those it affects.

Members of the Kiwanis Club of Bensonhurst & Bay Ridge, who meet regularly “on the avenue” at Cebu Bar & Bistro, 8801 Third Ave., were touched by Anthony’s story and pledged to show their support for the family by attending the event in large numbers. The club is also serving as a major sponsor for the evening.

“We want to show Anthony and his family that they are not alone as they battle this extremely rare disorder,” explained Ben-Bay Kiwanis Club board member Anthony Pennachio. “Camille and Stefano’s endless dedication to improving their son’s quality of life is inspiring, and this gala event is a testament to their tireless efforts.”

Anthony, 11, currently suffers from stenosis in his aorta and in his pulmonary artery, which prevents the valve from opening fully and restricts the oxygen flowing from his heart and lungs. He also experiences sudden instances of rapid heartbeat due to an abnormality that required surgery earlier this year.

For more information on the event, and for ticket and sponsorship information, visit wsresearch.org.

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We like what you’ve done with the place!

Merchants of Third Avenue Civic Improvement Association, Inc. President Dan Texeira and board member Sheila Brody joined Councilmember Justin Brannan last week in congratulating business owner Danielle Febles-King on the official grand opening of The Ridge Shop, a brand-new tween boutique “on the avenue.”

Pictured at the ribbon cutting cermeony for The Ridge Shop (left to right) are Merchants of Third Avenue board member Sheila Brody, Steve King, owner Danielle Febles-King, Councilman Justin Brannan and Merchants of Third Avenue President Dan Texeira. Photo courtesy of Justin Brannan’s Office

The newly renovated space is fully stocked with colorful clothing and unique merchandise; it also features a café complete with snacks and an indoor/outdoor sitting area.

Febles-King also owns The Ridge Kids across the street at 8122 Third Ave., which offers clothing and items geared toward babies and young children. She serves alongside Texeira and Brody as a member of the Merchants of Third Avenue board, as does Jeanine Condon of Charmed by JLM and MaryAnn Kearns of Caffe Café.

As Halloween approaches, families are invited to The Ridge Shop for a special pumpkin painting event on Saturday, Oct. 21. Pumpkins and supplies will be provided at the shop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. ($15 minimum purchase required). 

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This bus is definitely worth waiting for.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Mammogram Bus will be parked “on the avenue” outside Charmed by JLM, 8311 Third Ave., offering free mammograms for qualified individuals from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To qualify, you must live in New York, be between the ages of 40 and 79, and not have received a mammogram in the last 12 months. The bus appears each year courtesy of Councilman Justin Brannan.

For more information, call 718-748-5200 or 877-628-9090.

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