SHOUT OUT: Contributors sold out a pasta dinner last night to help cover the medical expenses of former Paramus High School baseball catcher Rob Bonastia in his battle against kidney cancer.
This comes after two sheriff’s officers – brothers Michael and Anthony Mordaga – each contributed a week’s pay to the lifelong Paramus native.
The Paramus BPOE Elks Club opened its doors for the event. Borough-based Anthony Francos donated the pasta and Kontos Foods of Paterson the cocktail flatbreads, hummus & desserts. Moe’s Southwest Grill of Mahwah donated a 55-inch flat-screen TV for a raffle.
Those attending brought a host of donations, including gift certificates for exams and other treatments.
Rob was at Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan last night – and in great spirits – awaiting the results of a lung biopsy. His mother, Michele Fleming Bonastia, said they both spent time enjoying texts and photos from the event.
“I am so touched I can’t even explain,” she wrote to friends. “It feels so good as a mom to see so many people show my son just how much he means to them.”
This morning, Rob jokingly tweeted that he ordered eggs over easy with toast, frosted flakes, apple juice, grapes and bacon.
The cancer came up suddenly. Bonastia went to the doctor three months ago after his abdomen began to swell. A biopsy revealed the cancer – a rarity for someone so young.
After having a kidney removed, he began treatments at Sloane.
Meanwhile, friends and strangers have rallied to raise money toward the family’s expenses. These include teammates, opponents, coaches, teachers, neighbors – you name them.
* * * * * * *
YOU CAN HELP
Please send checks to:
81 Arnot Place
Paramus, NJ 07652
Or make a tax-deductible donation to:
Share USA Inc. (Tax ID#223737488)
234 Kinderkamack Road
Oradell NJ 07649-2128
WRITE: “ For Robert Bonastia ” in the memo line.
* * * * * * *
Events have included “Home Runs for Robby,” organized by teammates and friends (Rob caught varsity for the Spartans his junior and senior years). The home-run derby brought in more than $5,000.
Also contributing were Michael and Jaqueline Reuveni, whose daughter, Gabrielle — a Paramus High School valedictorian — was killed six months ago by a drunk driver while out jogging in the Poconos.
A few weeks ago, the Mordaga brothers each gave Rob a week’s paycheck at the PAL in Hackensack.
In the photo, from left, are: Bergen County Undersheriff Brian Smith (representing Sheriff Michael Saudino), Hudson County Sheriff’s Officer
CLIFFVIEW PILOT PHOTO: Denis Niland
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.