STAMFORD, Conn. -- One Thursday night every month, the owners of Olio Restaurant at 934 Hope St., Stamford, raise money for different causes.
“When we opened Olio, we knew we wanted to be a part of the community and be able to give back as well. There are so many incredible local organizations that we knew this was the best way to get involved so that is how the benefit dinners began,'' said Moira Hyland, who owns Olio with Steve Costanzo.
On. Oct. 24, the restaurant is teaming up with the local nonprofit group Backyard Humanitarian. The focus for this event is on James Lacerenza, who was born with cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair. Those challenges do not stop Lacerenza from doing what he loves, which is helping people who also are handicapped so they can enjoy their lives to the fullest.
Lacerenza, along with the help of his family and friends, has raised large amounts of dollars to help pay for various programs for handicapped children.
“There was, and still is, a need for children with all sorts of challenges to go to special camps where they can bond with other children like them,’’ Lacerenza said.
Backyard Humanitarian's goal is to raise $25,000 through different fundraising events so James can have a nurse's aid to help him with his daily tasks.
“He (James) is a true inspiration and it would be great if we could help him get the help he needs. James has faced many challenges, pain and heartache but always maintains a positive attitude and disposition,’’ said Angela Malizia, founder of Backyard Humanitarian.
Olio has pledged 20 percent of all proceeds from the night’s dinner directly to James, including 100 percent of the tips from the Olio staff.
The fundraiser takes place Oct. 24 from 5:30 p.m. until closing. Call 203-817-0303 for a reservation. The restaurant also can be found at www.oliostamford.com.
Robyn Blosio Bova is a Realtor with Higgins Group in Stamford and a volunteer with Backyard Humanitarian.