North Babylon resident Dan Gambardella is not around to celebrate his upcoming birthday. A drunken driver killed the father of two in April 2011. Despite hardship, Gambardella’s wife, Linda, is turning her family’s tragedy into relief for others.
Linda is holding a fundraiser pancake breakfast at in North Babylon on Sunday Sept. 16, the day that would have been Gambardella's 48th birthday, to raise monies for local families in crisis.
“When Dan was killed the outpour of support and love was beyond what I could ever have imagined. I can honestly say without all of that love and support I don't know that the kids and I would have been able to make it through, she said. “As was done for my kids and I, I would like to pay it forward and offer the same support to other families who are devastated by crisis and tragedy.”
The money raised will go directly to families in need of support to help ease the burden and stress of life-altering situations by providing financial support to complete everyday tasks including having groceries delivered to one’s home, a landscaper to mow the lawn, babysitters and other tasks to take the burden off of a grieving family.
“People were so generous to my family - taking my son to and from his baseball games, simple things like that. Danny (Linda’s son) went back to playing about a week later and it was the best thing for him,” she said. “Those little things helped make life more bearable. I was in a living nightmare, but for my children I had to keep going and it was so helpful to have support in so many ways.”
The fundraiser is named after Gambardella, who lived in North Babylon for more than 20 years and became an integral part of the community. He coached the North Babylon Youth League Baseball coach.
“My husband moved here 21 years ago. He was so in love with it. My husband used to say that this was his little Mayberry.”
The pancake breakfast will take place from 8-10 a.m. Tickets are $10. Checks can be made out to The Daniel Gambardella Memorial Fund. The tax identification number is 45-4960575.
To nominate a family in need, contact Linda Gambardella at 516-375-4394.
What: Pancake Breakfast in honor of Dan Gambardella
When: Sunday, Sept. 16; 8-10 a.m.
Where: 1251 Deer Park Avenue North Babylon, NY 11703