Local Whitestone organization to host fundraiser in honor of resident who helped others overcome addiction

Photo courtesy of Laura Copersino

A beloved Whitestone resident will be honored and remembered on Saturday at a special fundraising event in support of continuing his mission to help others overcome substance abuse.

The Daniel Copersino Foundation will be hosting a fundraising event on April 13 at the Spartan Obstacle Race in CitiField at 9 a.m. followed by a picnic at Harvey Park, located at 20th Avenue and Whitestone Expressway, from 1 to 4 p.m. in honor of Copersino, who celebrated his third anniversary of sobriety before he passed away in December 2018 at the age of 27 from an undetected heart condition. 

Established in January 2019, The Daniel Copersino Foundation is a nonprofit organization raising funds in support of substance abuse and addiction based charities providing grants to those in need of treatment.

“All that Daniel wanted to do was help people,” said Laura Copersino, Daniel’s mother. “With everyone helping like this we can magnify his efforts and help a lot of people.”

In his late teens, Copersino began experimenting with drugs, which eventually led to an addiction to heroin. For years thereafter, he was in and out of programs and detox facilities seeking help.

Copersino (center) with his father and sister. (Photo courtesy of Laura Copersino)

While staying at a detox facility in Jamaica, Copersino relocated to an upstate facility called St. Christopher’s Inn in 2014 for three months. The program was a stepping stone for Copersino providing support, encouragement, and finding the inner strength to address the disease of addiction.

After completing his care upstate, Copersino felt that returning to Whitestone was not the best move and as a result, he relocated to a residential facility in Delray Beach, Florida. for three years, where he formed relationships both inside and outside of the treatment community.

“He came back home in June 2017 sober and doing very well,” said Copersino. “While he was down there he helped a lot of people get their lives back on track. It was his personal mission to see people get into recovery from the disease of addiction. That was his big thing. He would speak at meetings at facilities; he would travel to speak to help people. When he had passed it was extremely unexpected.”

After his passing, Copersino’s close friends and family founded the organization to continue Daniel’s work of helping to guide others struggling with addiction on the path to living a clean, sober life. 

Copersino is looking forward to continuing the event every year in honor of Daniel, who loved participating in Spartan Race events. 

Daniel Copersino at a Spartan Race event. (Photo courtesy of Laura Copersino)

With a dedicated passion for sports and fitness, Copersino began running Spartan Races throughout the Northeast. His aspiration to become a personal trainer led him to begin the enrollment process for certification courses.

The Spartan Race is an obstacle course and my son was an obstacle course racer,” said Copersino. “We have 73 friends and family in this race. We’re all doing it and the racers alone will be raising about $2,000. Funds raised from the event will go to St. Christopher’s Inn. The foundation is looking to hit $20,000.”

Following the race, there will be a picnic held at Harvey Park with food, music, games, raffles and more. To make a donation, visit The Daniel Copersino Foundation Facebook Page or email [email protected].