Heroes come in all sizes.
The Francesco Loccisano Memorial Foundation celebrated the achievements of 15 incredible young people — ranging from eight-year-olds to college students — at their second annual “Frankie’s Heroes” Award Reception and Brunch on March 10.
Camille Loccisano said that the awards were another way of remembering her late son, whose 2007 death from leukemia and bone cancer inspired her to start the foundation that bears his name, and honors the sort of civic participation that filled his 17-year life.
“We want to recognize the things he valued,” said Loccisano.
The foundation asked teachers, principals, and its Facebook followers to nominate local youth who had overcome enormous personal problems and who had demonstrated commitment to bettering their community. The request yielded an incredible batch of youngsters, including victims of cancer, blindness, and Crohn’s Disease, middle-schoolers who organized soup kitchens and collected school supplies for the poor, pre-teens who cared for the elderly, and young people who had done extraordinary work in the Hurricane Sandy relief effort.
“We were able to uncover so many kids out there who were doing great things,” Loccisano said.
The heroes each received a plaque and made a small speech. Money raised at the brunch went to the foundation’s ongoing mission to provide financial relief to families struggling with pediatric cancer.
“These people find this huge dark cloud of money matters over their head, and what they need is to be focusing on this battle their loved one is going through,” the mother said.Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderma