Donna Maxon To Receive ‘Heart of a Champion’ Award

Family foundation bestows ‘Heart of a Champion’ awards
Published: Sunday, May 22, 2011
By Staten Island Advance

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The Frank J Reali III Family Foundation will host its 4th annual memorial dinner “Saving One Young Heart At A Time!” on June 6 at 7 p.m. at LiGreci’s Staaten, West Brighton. Tickets are $100 per person; reservations can be made by calling 718-420-2331 or e-mailing

WCBS-FM 101.1 radio host Joe Causi will emcee the event.

The “Heart of a Champion” awards will be presented to 11 recipients. They are:

Ralph M. Branca, president and CEO of both Victory State Bank and its holding company, VSB Bancorp; Lisa Salsberg, founder and CEO of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association, a national support center for families prone to sudden cardiac arrest; Jack LiGreci, president of the Staaten Restaurant, West Brighton; Assemblyman Michael Cusick (D-Mid-Island); Anthony Palmieri, founder of Veritas Imaging, a mobile ultrasound company providing cardio-vascular testing;

Donna Maxon, a Bette Midler tribute artist and president of Tribute Entertainment; Roselle Farina-Hecht, publisher of Staten Island Parent magazine and Family Resource Publications; Steven Gattullo of New Springville, the owner-operator of the Zoo Café and Gift Shop;

Diane Morton-Gattullo, a paraprofessional at PS 29, Castleton Corners; Genevieve R. Benoit and Diane M. Buglioli, founders of A Very Special Place, which provides a continuum of services to children and adults who have a developmental disability.

In April 2007, Frank J. Reali III died suddenly at the age of 36 of a massive heart attack. Through its fund-raising efforts, the Frank J Reali III Family Foundation educates about SCD (sudden cardiac death) and provides supportive funds for heart baseline testing for eighth graders prior to entering high school sports. The Foundation hopes to make this part of the mandatory school physical.

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