Owners of Olio Restaurant teamed up with local nonprofit Backyard Humanitarian Thursday night to support and celebrate the work of a Stamford resident whose volunteer efforts have benefited children with neuromuscular disorders for over a decade.
Every final Thursday night of each month the restaurant teams up with local charities to support causes and community members. This Thursday, 20 percent of dinner proceeds went directly to provide nurses aids for the needs of James Lacerenza, who was born with cerebral palsy. They expect to raise $25,000.
"He kind of had the same goal, to give back as we do in a sense and it feels nice that we can do something for him," Olio co-owner Moira Hyland.
As a child, Lacerenza volunteered with the Muscular Dystrophy association and at age 18 founded the Connecttkids. With the help of volunteers, Lacerenza was able to fund camps for children with neuromuscular disorders, which are often times fatal.
"I realized as we went along and gained more sponsors and more local businesses like your garden caterings and subways, that it really was a team effort and it has been a team effort and the joy that I see on those kids every year when I go up to camp, it's really indescribable."
With joint efforts from the community, he was able help raise $135,000 for children with muscular dystrophy and ALS research.
"He doesn't feel like he's doing anything special and he is doing something special and he has made a huge difference in the lives of so many people," said Robyn Bova of Backyard Humanitarian. "So it's time that now somebody does something for him."
Olio Restaurant is located on 934 Hope St. For more information visit mdactkids.org. or to help Lacerenza's family visit BackyardHumanitarian.org.