A cloud rained its blessing over the grounds of La Tavola Restaurant early in the afternoon of July 9, but it left the premises just in time for an outpouring of love showered from the hearts of more than 350 people gathered together for Cash. Cash Macchiarolo, that is; our very own heart warrior and hero!
Cash Carter Macchiarolo was born August 24, 2016 to his loving parents, Marco Island Firefighter/EMT Nick Macchiarolo and Gabriella “Gabby” Macchiarolo, a beautiful hair and make-up artist. Cash seemed to be in a hurry to get here as he entered ourworld five weeks early, weighing less than four pounds. Immediately after his birth, Cash was flown to the Children’s Hospital in Miami where he underwent open heart surgery. Cash was diagnosed with tetralogy of Fallot, a condition of four congenital heart defects. Through it all, this brave little warrior has endured numerous surgeries and procedures. He has been faced with blood clots, lung collapses, infections, and even his own body’s rejection of a feeding tube.
Imagine the stress and worries combined with huge medical expenses for this young family. Guy and Lisa Verdi of La Tavola Restaurantfelt a calling in their hearts to help out. They organized a community fundraiser dedicated to the cause. A gathering of over 350 people enjoyed a delicious buffet of shrimp scampi, pulled pork, fried chicken, baby back ribs, brownies and watermelon. Happy hour drink prices kept the crowd in party mode while they danced to the modern country sounds of the Ben Allen Band.
The event was truly a celebration of life as the community came together in full force. Several members of the Marco Island Fire Rescue and Marco Island Police departments were in attendance tosupport the Macchiarolo family. Mark Haueter of the MIPD was there, knowing all too well the value of family and friends when life throws you a curve ball. Haueter is grateful for the support he received from the community throughout his recent battle with oral cancer.
Firefighters across America share a heartfelt brotherhood. Coming all the way from Poughkeepsie, New York, Arlington Fire District 1st Assistant Chief John Richardson and his wife, Pat were there to join in the festivities and support this most worthy cause.
Raffle prizes and silent auction items included dinner for eight in yourhome by Chef Guy and Chef Erin, a 1/2 day boat tour by Captain Lisa Oliver with lunch prepared by Chef Erin Wyman, a Stella & Dot necklace from Jessica Braz, permanent make-up and eyelash extensions by Doobie Conroy, a twonight stay at the JW Marriott, a round of golf for four at the Marriott donated by Liz and Jack Bowden, a glass heart necklace from Lindy Kowalczyk/Local Color Art Gallery, a heart painting by Betty Newman, handmade jewelry by Cherie Logan, and several baskets of cheer. Bidding was fierce in a live auction for a much coveted fire engine red Budweiser bicycle. Other sponsors included Dawn Snyder – Party to Go, Eye On Marco – Bill McMullen, Breakthru Beverage Group, CJ’s on the Bay, Marco Movies, Performance Food Service, Lynn Nunn – Sysco, Gordon Food Service, Alsco Linens, Waste Management, Marco Red Rooster, Crazy Flamingo, Lely Resort & Golf, Coastal Beverage Co., Stonewalls, Isle of Capri Marina, Joey’s Pizza & Doreen’s Cup of Joe, Southern Wines & Spirits, Rick’s Island Salon, See Thru Window Cleaning Services, Marco Golf & Garden, Grand Western Meals, High Velocity Hurricane Shutters, Dry & Clean Carpet Cleaning, Philly Grille, Verdi’s, Cafe de Marco, Southern Comfort Air, Carbonated Solutions Carpet Cleaning, Ciao Bella Restaurant, Snook Inn, Skin Renewal Systems, 98.1 Radio, Sunstitchers Embroidery/ Silk Screening, Mark and Natalie Anguilano – Eagle Printing, and Coastal Breeze News.
Guy and Lisa Verdi and the Macchiarolo family are especially grateful to the staff at La Tavola Restaurant and Bar who generously donated their time and service during the event.
La Tavola Restaurant and Bar, along with the Marco Island community gave their hearts and souls to this event, but perhaps the greatest gift of the day came fromthe guest of honor himself. Baby Cash Macchiarolo brought us all together for a day of good food, fellowship and fun to celebrate the miracle of life in the spirit of hope. May we all be blessed to see the power of healing through the eyes of a child. May we always feel the power of love through this heart of a warrior.
A special fund has been created for the cause. If you were unable to attend the event, but would like to donate, you can mail a check made payable to Cash Macchiarolo, c/o La Tavola Restaurant, 961 Winterberry Drive, Marco Island, FL, 34145.