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The Guardian Brain Foundation Gala brings smiles
by Mary Pallotta

Bellmore Life, 01/07/04

The Guardian Brain Foundation recently held its annual Gala at the elegant Carltun in the Park.  It was an enchanting evening full of wonderful surprises.  Assemblyman David G. McDonough and Senator Charles J. Fuschillo started the evening by talking to some of our special guests who are diagnosed with brain tumors, brain cancer and brain injuries during our cocktail hour.

Michael A. Pallotta eloquently thanked everyone for joining in our mission and explained the importance of The Guardian Brain Foundation.  Cathy Montero received a Guardian Award for her dedication, support and hard work of volunteering her time.

Mary Pallotta, the President of The Guardian Brain Foundation, gave a

received a Guardian Award for his courage, strength and support in making a difference in the lives of others.  Senator Fuschillo gave him a citation for his dedication to the community.  Stars were shining when Damon Devitt, Lynn Genaway and Michael S. Pallotta volunteered their time, entertaining with songs and music.  The room was full with smiles.

Mr. Pallotta announced our honorees.  He explained that Matthew Sorrentino always comes through.  He has been on a business venture for the wonderful Matteo's Restaurant.  He was one of our honorees for his dedication and hard work in bringing awareness and raising money for the advancement of neuroscience research.  He has shown through faith and love devotion to his brother Andrew, who has been diagnosed


On left:  Assemblyman David McDonough, Mary Pallotta, Matthew Sorentino and Senator Charles Fuschillo.

Above:  Joey Kola and Ed Lowe.

welcome and explained that over 100,000 people are living in the United States each year with a brain tumor.  Over five million Americans are living with disabilities as a result of a traumatic brain injury.  She explained how her dear brother Dennis who lost a three month battle to a cancerous brain tumor will live on through the Guardian Brain Foundation.

The mission of the foundation is to provide support services and assist the advancement of neuroscience research, for adults and children who are diagnosed with brain tumors and injuries of the brain.  She explained how "we believe in the quality of life.  We are all linked together by compassion and making a difference in this fragile world.  With your support we can extend hope to the most vulnerable among us.  We listen with our hearts and pray for pea ace.  This is a world we can touch.  We can share and hold on to life's most precious gifts, love one another, respect, share our dreams and hopes with one another.  The most precious gift in life is to touch someone else's.  We must bring awareness."  She then thanked everyone for sharing the warmth of their soul and becoming a guardian.

R. J. Lewis volunteered his time and preformed magic, mesmerizing everyone by singing "The Music of the Night" from "The Phantom of the Opera" in his mask and black cape.  He swept guests off their feet.  He was able to fool minds through a trip to fantasy.

Robert Crescenzo was our keynote speaker.  He explained the importance of the caregivers, family friends and loved ones.  Bob Crescenzo volunteers his time at The Brain Tumor Support Group with Donna Lankford and Billy Wilcezk at the Plainview Library.  He is a brain tumor survivor who runs in the New York Marathon to help raise money for brain

with a brain tumor.

Edward Pinder, an ABC World News Tonight producer and a brain tumor survivor was an honoree for being an inspiration, reaching out, bringing awareness, educating, loving and showing his dedication in support for The Guardian Brain Foundation.  He explained how he was thankful for receiving a brain tumor.  It helped him live better and he is now a better person.  He thanked God for sparing his life.  Herb Williams was a special guest; he told him he was a life long friend and thanked him for coming.

Ed Lowe, a Newsday columnist, did a spectacular job hosting our Gala.  He explained that Joey Kola was a dear friend of his for many years.  He said he was "sublime and superb" at his craft, in making people laugh.  Joey Kola surprised us all with wonderful comedy.  There wasn't a dry eye in the room.  Mr. Kola has been on David Letterman, warm-up comedian on Rosie O'Donnell, Comedy Central and many other comedy events.  It was amazing to be able to cover every emotion in one evening.  He complimented the staff at the Carltun for there professionalism, wonderful services and fantastic food.

Senator Fuschillo gave citations to Mr. Pallotta, Theresa Stepkowski, Jayne Dalis, Bob Crescenzo, Joseph Lewy and Ira Kaufman for their courage, strength and support of the community by bringing awareness to The Guardian Brain Foundation and volunteering their time in making a difference.

For information on volunteering your time and to make a donation, contact: The Guardian Brain Foundation, PO Box 1216, Bellmore, 11710; 631-271-3292; or visit

See a slide show of this event!