Today in deplorable crimes: Mikey is a 5-year-old boy who was diagnosed with an unidentifiable brain and spine tumor in September of 2008. He’s undergoing his third chemo treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and his mom, Christine Lograno-Weinstein, is running a fund-raising effort with the help of volunteer-driven charity St. Baldrick’s called “Hope is in the (h)Air,” to raise $20,000 for cancer research. Recently, a volunteer collecting donations at a Take a Toy/Make a Donation table briefly left his post outside a residence in Donagan Hills, Staten Island. He returned, to his shock, to catch a woman stuffing all the bags of stuffed animals and the donations jug in her car.
The volunteer, who is the father of the Hope is in the (h)Air treasurer, ran after the thief yelling as she took off in her car. “He turned around, and I don’t know how she did it,” Longrano-Weinstein told us. “The timing, or maybe she’d seen him out before. She was throwing all the stuff in the car as he was coming out, and then out the window came the jug. She threw the jug with Mikey’s picture and story and our event information out the window like it was garbage.”
It happened too quickly for him to get the license plate number, and all he saw “was a Caucasian woman with curly hair. She had her back to him, getting into a light-colored car. He feels horrible.” As for the thief, Lograno-Weinstein says, “I understand she had to be very desperate, but it’s not like she didn’t know where the money was going. I’m a little desperate to save my kid’s life at this point.”
There’s been something of a bright side to all of this, though. “Just this weekend alone, three vendors from The Dekalb Market, and The White Gown, have all agreed to raise money and help St. Baldrick’s. It’s more than we ever really expected,” said Lograno-Weinstein. “You get so upset at the disgracefulness of some people, and then other people make you forget it.” In an effort spearheaded by Robicelli’s, who are donating proceeds from their cupcakes to the fund-raising effort, Nachos NY and La Newyorkina are also donating portions of their profits to the cause.
Despite this debacle, Lograno-Weinstein remains positive about her first year running the fund-raiser, which “may now be bigger than I ever expected,” she says. Mikey, along with two other children, will be honored in an event that will conclude on September 17 with a head-shaving ceremony near the family’s home in Rockaway. Mikey and another child “will be able to shave the head of their own oncologist,” she said, laughing. “I promised him no straight razors.”