A group of Old Forge residents are hoping others will step up and join in their quest to aid community leader Tony Pero as the veteran councilman battles cancer.
"Tony Pero has served the borough of Old Forge as a school director for four years and councilman for 24 years," said Ted Giglio. "He has served with distinction, always working for the betterment of our community. He is a man of faith, a dedicated family man and a tireless worker. He never has a personal agenda."
Giglio, along with Mark Genell, Ann Kania, Mary Rose Fumanti and Millie Nese have been organizing an event called "Spring Fling: Give Back to Tony Pero" slated for Sunday, April 28, from noon to 5 p.m. at Arcaro and Genell's Banquet Hall, 443 S. Main St., Old Forge.
For a $10 donation, the event will include an Italian chicken dinner, also available for takeout, a bake sale, a basket raffle and entertainment by Rustic Image from 3-5 p.m.
"When we heard about what he was going through we felt bad and thought it was time to help him," said Nese. "We thought it would be a way to help relieve stress for the family."
Tickets may be purchased at the Hair Mill, 404 Oak St., Old Forge, or by calling 451-3365.
Monetary donations may be made to the Old Forge branch of Penn Security Bank, in care of Tony Pero. All funds raised and collected will be used to help defray cost associated with medical treatment as he battles cancer.
According to Nese, organizers are seeking baked goods and additional basket donations.
"Italian baskets, wine baskets," Nese said. "Any type of theme basket someone would like to donate we would welcome."
Giglio, who has known Pero for more than 45 years, said his friend has never sought accolades for his service to the community.
"He is a true public servant," Giglio said. "Now the community of Old Forge has an opportunity to give back to Tony Pero for his years of dedicated service, friendship and his love for our town. I know they will."