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Fundraiser Turnout Is A Knock Out

More than 1,000 people come out to support baby

Thomas Onorato, office manager for a Garden City-based medical office, and wife, Melissa, are humbled by the overwhelming support shown to them since their son Thomas Kevin Onorato was born. On April 19, the couple hosted a fundraiser for baby Thomas, who is suffering from microvillous inclusion disease. They anticipated 200 or 300 people, but the turnout was far more successful—more than 1,000 attendees flocked to Franklin Square’s Plattduetsche Park Restaurant to support the younger Thomas’ fight. Many were family and friends but larger numbers were people who were simply touched and inspired by Thomas’ story. At 7 months old, baby Thomas is unable to eat and absorb nutrients and he has spent nearly half his life in the hospital.

“As we planned this fundraiser we expected a modest 200 to 300 people, if we were lucky,” said Melissa Onorato. “Our good friend, Matt Buck, who runs the Plattduetsche Park, said that easily over 1,000 people showed up. As my husband and I stood on that stage, thanking our loved ones and our supporters, we were blown away by the sea of people.”

In his short seven months of life, Thomas continues to amaze his family. His struggles have buoyed his family to start a nonprofit organization to help others struggling with this rare disease. Thomas’ initials, “TKO,” in the boxing world means “technical knockout.” Tom who believes in his son’s strength began calling his son “TKO” and they dubbed the fundraiser and Thomas’ fight “TKO Strong.”

“Thomas has restored our faith and brought out unbelievable strength in the both of us, a strength neither knew we possessed,” said Melissa Onorato. “He is our angel and inspiration.”

Baby Thomas’ mom is a teacher in Queens while his paternal namesake is an administrator/office manager at Garden City’s All Island Dermatology Plastic Surgery & Laser Center. The twosome are currently waiting for state and government approval for the nonprofit but have faith that their venture will be successful. For the Onoratos, Thomas has paved the way to pursue their mission to raise funds and support research.

For further information or to make a donation, please visit www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/h614/tko-strong.

News

School board shows off improvements at Stratford

This month’s Garden City Board of Education meeting saw a boost in attendance, and not just from district residents. This was the first board meeting to be held at Stratford School, so teachers and students there stopped by to show off the best it has to offer.

Leading the pack was school principal Eileen Vota, who gave the board a tour of the school before the meeting got underway. Along the way, highlights of the capital improvement project were pointed out, all a result of the 2009 School Investment Bond and Energy Performance Contract.

The Senior Advisory Committee is the Senior group that helps plan trips, parties, and programs for all seniors in cooperation with the recreation and parks department. It consists of: Kathy Auro, Richard Bankowsky, Evelyn Iagrossi, Joe Leto, Ellen Moynahan, and Gloria Weinrich. Please feel free to suggest trips to anyone on the committee.


Sports

Winter Swim Lesson Registration Announced

The Garden City Recreation Department will be conducting children’s swimming lessons for village residents at the Adelphi University swimming pool in Woodruff Hall on Saturday mornings. Your child must be six years of age by the start of the program to participate. This 10-week session will begin Saturday, Dec. 6. Classes are taught by Red Cross-certified instructors. The cost is $80. These classes are open to residents of the Incorporate Village of Garden City.

Learn And Play Paddle Tennis

The recreation and parks department will offer beginner level platform tennis lessons at Community Park’s Platform Courts. This five-week course will offer the basic instruction and will be taught by certified platform instructor Sue Tarzian. Each class will be 1.5 hours in length. The cost of this program is $187.50. Classes began the week of Nov. 5. The following classes will be offered:

Beginners - Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

Advanced Beginners – Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

This program is for beginners only and participants must be Garden City residents. To register, visit the recreation office at 108 Rockaway Ave.


Calendar

Marvelous Movie Matinée

Monday, December 1

AARP Driver Safety Program

Tuesday, December 2

Here Comes Brother Sun

Friday, December 5



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