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Hear, hear! E.C.H.O. and the fete fantastic

Hear, hear! E.C.H.O. and the fete fantastic

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — If you were among the revelers who flocked to the Eagle Oaks Country Club on Sept. 23 to “Treasure the Moment” for E.C.H.O. (Emergency Children’s Help Organization), you truly were one of the fortunate.

Unable to attend and perhaps unfamiliar with the organization? Kindly allow us a few moments to fill you in and acquaint you with the foundation, richly deserving of praise.

The plush banquet facility located in Farmingdale, N.J., provided a splendid backdrop for some 600 revelers who celebrated the evening for a very specific purpose: Their presence contributed greatly to improving the lives of children and families who are in dire need of medical assistance.

Because ensuring the welfare of children has always been close to Sebastian Angelico’s heart, in April 2008 he was motivated to form E.C.H.O., along with a energetic group of diverse executive board members who have pledged their support to families of seriously ill children who, due to financial burden, might possibly be denied proper health care. E.C.H.O.’s mission: To amass resources to benefit a child in need.

Paul Dapolito III, vice chairman of the foundation, introduced the evening’s honorees: Cesar Claro, executive director, Richmond County Savings Foundation and president and CEO of the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation, as well as Greg Murphy of ICAP Securities.

In fact, during the evening’s fare, Jennifer and Michael Russo took the podium on behalf of their daughter, Alexa Rose, who is now nearly 6 years of age and was born with a severe developmental disorder impeding both motor skills and speech and language. Alexa Rose has been classified as the only child in the world with all of her symptoms.

The Russos have dedicated their lives to Alexa Rose’s well-being and have afforded her the best care they know how. They said their prayers for a miracle were answered three years ago, when they were introduced to E.C.H.O., an organization they call their angel.

Upon hearing of Alexa Rose’s plight, the foundation stepped in to provide assistance for a unique hyperbaric treatment. What’s more, they purchased a special bed for Alexa Rose and covered the cost of past and present medical bills. Because of E.C.H.O., Alexa Rose’s life has been greatly improved — and almost overnight.

Pasquale Loporcaro, E.C.H.O.’s executive director, further explained that another little girl was provided with a body vest to treat severe scoliosis, a young boy with brain atrophy/epilepsy was sent to a specialized summer program, and another young boy who was hit by a car received monetary assistance and a three-month food supply when his mom was unable to work during his recuperation.

Loporcaro stressed that E.C.H.O. accomplished these feats because of the help of supporters and donors. He quoted Mark Twain: “To get the full value of joy, you need to have people to divide it with,” referencing how E.C.H.O’s guests that evening spread good will toward others.

It should be noted that Paul Dapolito IV was presented with the “Emerging Leader in Philanthropy Award” because of his dedication in creating, facilitating, and maintaining E.C.H.O’s website on a voluntary basis.

A star-studded lineup of once-in-a-lifetime experiences for auction included IPads, TVs, Rolex watches, a Louis Vuitton handbag and other prizes, which were distributed throughout the stellar evening.