Sunday, November 18, 2012

Former Yankee Frank Tepedino leads off First Annual Firefighters Charitable Foundation Dinner

Part of the valor of being a firefighter is accepting the responsibility that one might perish in the course of saving others. That same unselfish spirit was on display Thursday evening at the Chateau Briand in Carle Place, New York, for the First Annual Firefighters Charitable Foundation Dinner. The foundation, which serves to assist victims of fires and disasters, brought some much needed support to a region that was greatly impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Frank Tepedino / N. Diunte
Over 200 dinner guests came together under the guidance of FFCF's president Frank Tepedino, a veteran of eight major league seasons with the Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers and New York Yankees, and dinner chair Tom Sabellico, who has worked closely with Tepedino in past fundraising efforts.

Frank Tepedino and Tito Landrum / N. Diunte
Tepedino traded in his batting gloves for those of a firefighter after finishing his time in the major leagues, and was one of the first responders to the 9/11 attacks in New York City. Tepedino was not alone in his crusade on Thursday, as he was joined by many of his baseball brethren to champion the cause, including board member Fred Cambria, Jim “Mudcat” Grant, Bud Harrelson, Ed Kranepool, Tito Landrum, Billy Sample, Ron Swoboda, Jose Valdivielso, Jon Warden, as well as the one of the evening’s honorees, Frank Catalanotto.

Catalanotto, the 14-year major league veteran and graduate of Smithtown East, was given the FFCF’s Humanitarian Award for his foundation’s efforts in raising funds and awareness for the Vascular Birthmark Foundation. The Frank Catalanotto Foundation has emerged as the leading fundraiser for the VBF, and has traveled internationally to help those afflicted with the condition.

Also honored was Leonard Genova of the National Football Foundation, who was presented with an award to commemorate the establishment a scholarship series in his name. Genova’s foundation serves youth football players in Nassau and Suffolk counties to help improve their athletic and academic achievements through the sport. Alana Petrocelli, executive director of the Nassau County Firefighters Museum, was given the President's Award for her efforts to educate and inform the public about fire safety and prevention.


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