By Stephen E. Lipken
“Danny FUN Day,” celebrating the lives of Pelhamite Danny Potocki and other children saved from catastrophic illnesses and injuries through the Danny Fund, was held outside the Daronco House and Gazebo, Pelham on Saturday, April 28. Approximately 600 citizens attended.
The Danny Fund was founded in 1993 when at the age of four, Danny, the son of Village of Pelham Trustee Peter Potocki was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. To help, friends rallied around the family, raising money through bake sales, winter softball game and word of mouth.
Danny responded to his treatment and his cancer is in remission. With the crisis behind them, the small group of organizers met and the Danny Fund was born. Now 29, Danny has a successful business, “Hard Knox Tattoo” in Yonkers, married to Melissa, his wife and daughter Melanie, 7.
“It is a nice event for the kids in town to make everybody aware about what the Danny Fund does and all the kids it supports,” Danny said.
“Danny Fund kids are going through a tough time and we are here to support them,” Danny’s mother Kathy Potocki stated. “We have pictures of our current 6 Danny Fund kids in the Gazebo right now and children can go inside and check out the poster boards of each of our kids and see what they like…
“Our goal is that one day those kids will all be able to just go back to life as usual, no more hospitals, no more doctors, and just enjoy being a kid again…”
Surrounding the Gazebo were arts and crafts, an inflatable Fire Truck Slide, Mickey Mouse Bounce Castle, balloon sculpture, face painting and petting zoo plus cartoon characters, both provided by Dave’s Cast of Characters, New Rochelle.
A 100% volunteer, Westchester-based non-profit organization, Danny Fund (www.thedannyfund.org) provides financial, emotional and advocacy support for families of children under the age of 21 residing within a 30-mile radius of Pelham.