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Son offering free hot dogs to honor late mother

by jmaloni

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Sat, Aug 2nd 2014 10:25 am

Joseph Pillittere Jr. will honor his late mother Monday by giving away 500 Silo Restaurant hot dogs. Food will be served from 11 a.m. until the dogs are gone.

Patrons enjoying a free hot dog are encouraged to make a donation to Hospice House.

"Mr. Pillittere has purchased 500 hot dogs. We are working together to hold this great hot dog giveaway to honor his mom," Silo proprietor Alan Hastings said. "We start giving them away until supplies are gone.

"Among other things, those who do make a donation to Hospice House will also be eligible to win one of our 'Sand Dock Sundaes.' We will be making the draw Monday night."

Hastings sold Pillittere the hot dogs at cost, and will provide staff and setup. The Silo is matching Pillittere's generosity by offering complimentary soft drinks

"It was an honor to organize this event! I was happy we could put our heads together and set this up," Silo business development consultant Stacey Sheehan said. "Joe Pillittere is a very kind man, who clearly had so much love for his mom. Having lost my own dad to cancer this year, I could understand just how much he misses her.

"The hot dogs and beverages are free of charge, but also it's my hope that everyone will come out to show support for Mr. Pillittere himself. We all know the pain of losing a loved one, and too many of us know personally the effect of cancer on a family. Monday is not just the chance to enjoy a free lunch down at The Silo. It's about family, community and honoring a great lady."

Joan A. Pillittere, 73, of Lewiston, passed away July 20, 2012, after a lengthy battle with cancer. She was a member and past president of the Escarpment Belles and a member of the Lewiston Council of the Arts.

"When she worked, all her paychecks were spent on her husband and children," Pillittere said. "When asked what she wanted for her birthday or Christmas, it was always something for the house or the family. In fact, Christmas was extended to other large holidays like Easter and Thanksgiving with gifts galore for all her children and grandchildren. The charge card companies and QVC knew her by name!"

Joan cherished hot dogs.

"Some people want steak and lobster, but Joan loved hot dogs," Pillittere said. "I guess that could be because hot dogs are usually associated with family gatherings and parties. Our family gatherings were always fun-filled times that reinforced the importance of being a family. In fact, we always had to go for a hot dog after shopping for hours.

"Joan suffered from many ailments, but shopping and eating a hot dog made her forget her pain.

"A short while after she was diagnosed with cancer, I visited her in the hospital one afternoon. Her shirt and bedding was covered with mustard. When I asked her what she had done, she told me she had eaten her favorite food: a hot dog. The smile on her face in light of her pain said it all. She was able to forget her pain and the illness and enjoy life as it was: simple and blessed. This was the last real meal she ever ate; (she) passed away 20 short days later."

This hot dog giveaway is to celebrate Joan's life, kindness, and her giving spirit.

Joan married Joseph T. Pillittere, the former state Assemblymen. Together they had five children: Joseph of Cattaraugus County, Michelle (Richard) George of Town of Tonawanda, Jennifer (Matthew) Korzelius of Town of Wheatfield, Donald (Lori) Pillittere of Rochester and the late Georgine Baldwin, who died Nov. 21, 2009, after a battle with cancer.

The Silo Restaurant is located at 115 N. Water St., Lewiston. Visit on Facebook and online at www.lewistonsilo.com.

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