News By Tag
News By Location
7-Eleven Store Owner Rich Santonocito Looks to “Change” the Lives of Special-Needs Campers
For the past four years,Richard Santonocito has been raising money for Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck by placing a coin jar in front of the cash register at two of his 7-Eleven franchises — one in Center Moriches and the other in Westhampton Beach.
Mr. Santonocito, who is also a board member for Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck and a member of The Rotary Club of the Moriches (which founded the camp in 1946), decided to place the jars at the counters of his stores four years ago. “We had placed jars to raise money for other causes in the past,” he said. “When I joined the board, I wanted to get the word out and help the camp. I thought it was a good idea to help them raise money and get recognition for the camp at the same time.”
Since he began this program, more than $16,000 has been raised for the camp. Proceeds will go to benefit the programs for special-needs children and young adults who attend the camp during the summer and its respite weekends from September through June.
In addition to collecting money for the camp, he and the 7-Eleven employees, including his daughter Suzanne, have come down to the camp and served BBQ lunches and dinners for the campers. As a board member, Mr. Santonocito has volunteered his time at the camp’s fundraising events such as the annual Duck Race and Duck BBQ and the Moriches Rotary Club’s Oktoberfest.
“The money that goes into those jars will definitely benefit the children and young adults who attend the camp,” Mr. Santonocito said. “To some people, it may be a couple of coins in a jar, but it adds up to providing a great summertime experience for the campers.”
Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck is a resident summer camp serving children and young adults ages 6-21 with both physical and developmental special needs. Its mission is to help children and young adults achieve equality, dignity, and maximum independence through a safe and quality program of camping, recreation, and education in a summertime environment. Throughout the program, campers participate in typical summer camp activities, such as arts and crafts, talent shows, cook-outs, swimming and boating.
For more information, call (631) 878-1070 or visit www.camppaquatuck.com.