I was introduced to Beautiful People (http://www.beautiful-people.us/) in the spring of 2011 when I read in the local paper that there would be a walk-athon for the benefit of the Beautiful People, sponsored by a young man named Daniel Fratto. I went with my wife Angela and when we arrived, we were greeted by a number of the volunteers who worked for the organization and Jan, the executive director. We were welcomed by Daniel, who was overwhelmingly enthusiastic and thanked us for coming, offered us food and drink (soft drinks).
I had already made a commitment to participate in the Cayuga lake Olympic triathlon for my 60th birthday, and was looking to find an organization for whom I could raise funds. I wanted to be able to make a direct effect on people's lives. After meeting some of the people, and some of the kids involved, I knew I wanted to do it for this group. The money is used directly for the programs and they are currently raising funds to build a rubberized field for use by the kids for baseball and soccer. For many of the kids, it is incredibly difficult to get around a grass and dirt field, especially for those in wheelchairs.
Having watched my own children, stepchildren and grandchildren running around and participating in all sorts of activities, it was inspirational to see the volunteers helping these kids be able to do the same. I also understood the difficulty associated with participation... something we oftentimes take for granted. It is easy to get caught up in "winning", but when it comes down to it, playing games and being part of a team builds character, self-esteem, and provides immense enjoyment to these wonderful kids.
As for Daniel (http://www.beautiful-people.us/daniel-fratto/), he was quite the special person. He was also a volunteer at the organization and was the announcer for the games. At Hope week at Yankee Stadium, he was asked into the booth and announced Derek Jeter's name when he came to bat... the only person to ever announce him (you will notice that he comes to bat to a recorded announcement by Bob Shepherd). Daniel passed away last December at the age of 19 due to respiratory complications; the turnout at his wake was unbelievable. He was a student at the time at Rockland Community College and touched many lives with his courage and outlook, although he had many physical limitations.
I would like to raise funds again for this organization, in Daniel's memory. I am so blessed in my life and I believe we are here to help others. I hope to raise $5,000 by the time I complete the triathlon at West Point on August 19. I am committing myself to doing this, because others cannot.
- Charlie Silverman
- maria f little
- Stuart T Moy
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