Joseph Pillittere Jr. will honor his late mother Sunday, May 31, by giving away 500 Silo Restaurant hot dogs. Food will be served from 11 a.m. until the dogs are gone.
Pillittere honored his mother in similar fashion last summer.
This year, Pillittere also is giving away customized bracelets that were made in honor of his mother. These bracelets represent his mother's love of life and extreme kindness. The first 100 families to show up will receive one of these special mementos.
The Silo owner Alan Hastings again is lending his support to Pillittere to help make this event both successful and memorable. Hastings sold Pillittere 500 hot dogs at cost, and will provide staff and setup. The Silo will match Pillittere's generosity by offering complimentary Snow Cones.
In addition to his mother, Pillittere and his family also lost a younger sister and sister-in-law to cancer in 2009 and 2014, respectively. This event will remember them, as well.
The event is designed to create and spread happiness. "That's what my mother would have wanted," Pillittere said. "The hot dogs and beverages are free to bring people out to celebrate the life of a great mother. It's also an opportunity to create smiles, spread kindness and enjoy togetherness."
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."
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," Pillittere said. "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 the Town of Tonawanda; Jennifer (Matthew) Korzelius of Town of Wheatfield; Donald Pillittere of Rochester and his wife, Lori, who died of cancer in 2014; 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 http://www.lewistonsilo.com.