Sue LeBar | Democrat
Taking part in last Saturday’s fundraiser for Linda Canfield were, front row, from the left: Paul Ciliberto of Thunder 102, Linda Canfield, Anne Marie Weise and Kevin Dowdell of the Villa Roma. Back row, from the left: Jennifer Schilling, Thunder members Regina Hensley, Michelle Semerano, Corey Ciliberto, Mike Sakell and Erik VanValkenberg, Rick Weise, Dan Spagnoli of the Hortonville FD, Miss Sullivan County Felicia Ramos, Miss Southeast NY Melanie Hildebrant and Jeanine Schilling
Outpouring of support for Canfield
By Susan LeBar
CALLICOON Upon walking into Villa Roma Club Forum, Linda Canfield was amazed on just how many people turned out to a fundraiser in her honor to help with expenses she is facing while she deals with breast cancer.
The event was held on September 26 with a vast array of entertainment schedule for the evening and was also a benefit for the Hortonville Fire Department.
As Canfield looked at the crowd, with pink ribbons proudly displayed over their hearts, tears slowly fell as she was taken back by the show of love and support for the 35-year employee of the Villa Roma who has done almost every job the place has to offer.
Organizer of the event, Director of Sales and Marketing Kevin Dowdell, knew the resort had do do something when he heard about Linda’s illness.
“When Linda came to me and told me what she was facing, I was floored. She is the shinning star of the Villa Roma,” Dowdell said. “When I first came to the Villa Roma a year ago, I met Linda and she was just a beacon in the office. She is totally sweet, amazing and just a gracious person… and once the news got out, everyone here at the Villa Roma was asking what can we do to help and that is when the ball started.”
He went on to note, “I sent out a mass e-mail to the community as well as the employees and we came up with a night of entertainment and Thunder 102 was right there to help it get off the ground. We had the music thanks to Thunder 102 and our own employees volunteered their own time to help out tonight’s event as well. All of the performers here tonight are here as volunteers and are not getting paid. Our employees are here on their own time and look at the outpouring of support from the community.”
“The Villa Roma family has really pulled together and produced a wonderful event,” said Villa Roma co-owner Marty Passante. “Linda… is wonderful, brave and dependable and I look forward to seeing her every time I walk into the office and I love her to pieces. She is a great Villa Roma employee and a great member of our family here.… As far as the Hortonville Fire Department it is simple you guys are simply the best and we thank you for all that you do.”
At one point in the evening Hortonville FD Assistant Chief Peter Norton surprised the crowd by stating, “It is with great honor that the members of the Hortonville Fire Department are donating back to you Linda our portion of the money raised here this evening. It would mean so much to all of us to do this for you, there are members of our department that have lost loved ones to this [disease], including me, and if our portion helps you, that is all we ask. You are in our thoughts and we wish you all the best.”
Canfield told the crowd, “I have an operation on Oct 21st to remove a breast, then possible reconstruction surgery and as far as we know it has not spread. I have been here at the Villa for 35 years and done many things here and this is my second family. I was taken back by all the love and support in this room here tonight and now with this announcement, I am speechless. I am truly blessed with a great family, great friends and a great community. Thank you doesn’t seem to be enough but please know I love you all and thank you from the bottom of my heart and I will continue to fight!”
Linda also reminded everyone that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and that everyone should wear a pink ribbon to support the fight for a cure and to offer support for those fighting the disease as well.
The fund raiser music event provided entertainment from: Iron Cowboy, The Dash, Good N Loaded, The Drummers, Alyssa Startup, Lumiri Tubo, Dejea, Felicia Ramos and Melanie Hildebrant.
Anyone who would like to make a donation to the Linda Canfield Breast Cancer Fundraiser can do so by calling the Villa Roma at 887-4880 ext. 7021.