Howard Beach helps Marino family

Some donations were still trickling in, but, as of last count, the Howard Beach community – and Queens at large – opened up their hearts and wallets to raise $23,000 for the Marino family.
On Friday, January 28, 220 people showed up to the Ave Maria Catholic Academy to support Paul Marino, his wife Christine, 37, battling Stage 4 cancer, and their son, Paul Jr.
The family has no health insurance, and after reading their story, friends, family, classmates – even complete strangers – were compelled to help.
“It was remarkable,” said Michael Conley, who coached little league with Paul.
Conley said that some people showed up just to give a donation; others, he said, called up to give either monetarily or to donate raffle prizes (of which there were 50, including a pre-owned automobile, iPod and X-Box 360).
“There was such an outpouring of good will,” he said. “People were out there for a good cause – to help Christine.”
But what’s more, said Conley, “everything was donated.”
With live entertainment by Generation Gap and catering courtesy of Gino’s of Lawrence and Baldwin, the Ave Maria parents pitched in to purchase everything for the evening.
And Paul Jr.’s classmates were there to show their support and “to cheer people up, which really worked,” said Conley.
“It was wonderful,” said Maria Cuomo, Ave Maria principal. “It was a nice night. We are a family at this school – everyone cares for one another – you could tell that that night.”
All in all, “it was a really good night and I was personally blown away by the amount. It was an unbelievable success,” said Conley.