Tyler Fazzari sent out invitations for his ninth birthday party with this request:
“No gifts please. Instead, I would love to help Sandy victims/schools rebuild. PLEASE support me by either bringing a Home Depot or Lowe's Gift Card OR a check made out to LBSD Sandy Relief Fund (Long Beach School District) so we can help them during this trying time.”
Not many children would forego toys to help other children in need. Tyler, of Port Washington, felt differently.
“I am so lucky to already have so many toys," Tyler said, "that going one year without getting presents so I can help Sandy victims who were hit so hard and need help makes me feel awesome."
Tyler's inspiration was an emotional one. He was moved to act, the boy said, because his grandparents lost their home and a cousin was forced to move out of her Long Beach apartment. It was all thanks to Hurricane Sandy, which devastated the South Shore community in October.
So on Super Bowl Sunday, Tyler’s friends arrived at Unlimited Sports Action ready to play football. But the day was about more than fun and games.
Tyler’s birthday wish was answered in a big way when Huntington Station-based Teq announced it would donate a full Smart Board Technology Classroom kit, valued at over $20,000, to the Long Beach School District. Tyler will be invited to help install the Smart Board and meet the lucky class that will receive it.
“The response to Tyler’s inspiration has been overwhelming, but is completely aligned with who he is as a person," said Erica Fazzari, Tyler’s mother and a local yoga instructor. "Tyler was born with a heart bigger than his body. It is amazing to see him inspire such generosity from his friends, Teq and Unlimited Sports Action. His friends have donated over $1,100 for his birthday!”
The mix of cash and gift cards will be divided among the LBSD Sandy Relief Fund and Sandy Help LB, founded by Bryan Murphy of Remax Innovations.
“I am amazed at the response," dad Brad Fazzari said. "We originally intended to just raise awareness and some money towards the Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts and Teq helped us surpass our goals by a mile. I see my child being set up for a lifetime of giving and that makes me tremendously proud.”
When Frank Furino at Unlimited Sports Action learned about Tyler’s birthday wish, he donated the party to Tyler, saying: “It is so amazing that instead of paying us for the party, we’d like the Fazzaris to donate the money towards Tyler’s fundraising efforts.”
That money will be donated towards the LBSD Sandy Relief Fund, the family said.
The Fazzaris didn't stop there. Erica Fazzari participated in Saturday’s Cycle for Survival at Equinox. Her LoveLifePM’s team raised over $35,000 for the fight against cancer.
In a single weekend, the Fazzarri family raised over $55,000 for two charitable causes.
“I believe that when you do good, good things happen to you," Tyler said. "And if everyone did good things, it will make the world a better place.”
Anyone inspired to make a donation in Tyler’s honor may do so:
Long Beach Public Schools Disaster Relief Fund - 235 Lido Blvd, Lido Beach, NY 11561 Attn: Kaja Gula-Thomas. In the "memo" line of the check donors should write "Tyler"
Sandy Help Home Recovery Fund - 120 West Park Ave, Suite 103 Long Beach NY 11561 Attn: Bryan Murphy/Remax Innovations.