By Michael J. Billoni
Ronnie Mansour had one word to describe his exuberance of the successful “Fuccillo Feeds the Front Lines” promotion being held this month: “HUUUGE,” bellowed the general manager of Fuccillo Chevrolet on Grand Island in his best Billy Fuccillo Sr. voice. His team delivered enough meals from the Brick Oven Pizzeria & Pub to feed more than 100 members of the Island’s police and fire departments on June 18.
“This has been an absolutely amazing experience. It is emotional and it is personal,” he added, while accepting “Thank you” from the firefighters. “This is something Billy Sr. and Jr. wanted to do to show our appreciation to those on the front lines during this COVID-19 pandemic while also helping out our local restaurants.”
Grand Island Fire Department Vice President Sean O’Donnell said, “We could not be more thankful for this wonderful gesture by Fuccillo. Our members will be coming by all day to pick up these individually packaged meals. It is so gratifying to know our community and local businesses are behind us during these challenging times.”
Last month, Tom Fogerty, general manager of Fuccillo Toyota and platform director of the company’s three stores, received a call from Billy Jr., who has replaced his dad as the company president. Billy shared with Fogerty and the director of the Syracuse stores what they were doing in Florida to help those on the front line and asked if they could create a similar plan in the Western New York market.
Fogerty, who has been in the automobile business for 37 years and has been with Fuccillo for the past seven months, knows about the generosity of Western New Yorkers first-hand as a long-time board member for the Alzheimer’s Association and one of the original members and active participant of the 11 Day Powerplay for Roswell Park.
“This is really what our business is all about and what the Fuccillos are about,” Fogerty explained. “We are a people business and this is our way of saying ‘Thank you’ to some very important people in our community. At each of our visits, we thanked them for what they do every day while showing our appreciation for what they are doing during this COVID-19 pandemic. They have been putting their lives on the line during this entire time.”
Fogerty and Mansour selected seven organizations to receive meals the company purchased from Brick Oven Pizzeria & Pub, Adrian’s Custard and Beef and 773 North: the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, Kenmore Mercy Hospital, Niagara Falls Police Department, Mount St. Mary’s Hospital, the Grand Island Fire and Police departments and Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, which received its meals on Tuesday.
In all, Fuccillo purchased more than 1,600 meals.
“We have seen so much appreciation at every delivery we have made,” Fogerty noted.
Mount St. Mary’s Hospital staff receiving their meals from Adrian’s Custard and Beef.
Mount St. Mary’s Hospital Manager of Environmental Services Dan Wirth.
“This was such a generous donation from Fuccillo for our associates,” Mount St. Mary’s Hospital CJ Urlaub president said after receiving 450 meals on June 16. “We are grateful for their support and appreciation as we move beyond the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. We cannot thank them enough for thinking of us with their ‘Fuccillo Feeds The Frontline’ initiative.”
Kadie Curry, the hospital’s director of nursing and patient care services, said, “Our staff has been working so hard throughout this pandemic, and they really enjoyed this special donation from Fuccillo. Our community has been so supportive of the work we do here at Mount St. Mary’s and we cannot thank everyone enough.”
Fogerty, who lives on the Island, said this program is just a continuation of Fuccillo getting more involved in the Grand Island community. As an example, when Grand Island Fun Center on Grand Island Boulevard receives the green light to open its go-cart track, it will be rebranded as “Go Huge Go Cart Track.”
“Being from the Island it is great being with a company that wants to get involved with the community,” said Fogerty, who served for many years as a Toyota general manager at two other large dealer groups. “We do not want residents to cross that bridge looking for a vehicle. I want them to know they can trust us to put them in the right vehicle here.”
From left: Grand Island Fire Department Vice President Sean O’Donnell, Deputy Chief Omar Sortino, 2nd Assistant Chief John Podlucky, and Fuccillo Chevrolet General Manager Ronnie Mansour after a recent donation food from places including Brick Oven Pizzeria & Pub.