The annual fundraiser to benefit Connecticut Children’s Medical Center will be held at the Ben & Jerry’s on South Main St. in West Hartford from 6 – 9 p.m. on Thursday, August 28, 2014.
By Ronni Newton
Every August 28 Gabriella Giordano has a birthday, and every year since 2009 she has celebrated that birthday with Gabriella’s Scoop Night. That was the year the then 5-year-old had open heart surgery, which ensured that she would continue having birthdays.
As Gabriella – who is celebrating her 11th birthday this year – has grown, so has the event. “The first year we raised about $1,600 and since then it’s grown and grown … both in funds raised and in community involvement. Gabriella’s goal this year is $6,000. We have raised almost $15,000 to date for Connecticut Children’s Medical Center,” said Gabriella’s mom, Adria Giordano.
Adria Giordano said that funds raised this year will be earmarked for the new state-of-the-art Cardiovascular Care Center that the hospital will be developing.
Ben & Jerry’s in West Hartford Center hosts the event each year, generously donating a percentage of sales to the Division of Cardiology at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Most of the ice cream will be prepared by “celebrity” scoopers, who this year include (in addition to this We-Ha.com editor) some of Gabriella’s teachers from Norfeldt Elementary School; Gabriella’s cardiologist Dr. Felice Heller; Gina J from 96.5 WTIC FM (who will also emcee); WFSB reporters Courtney Zieller, Susan Raff, Jill Konopka, and Erin Connolly; West Hartford Police Chief Tracey Gove and Sgt. Eric Rocheleau; Superintendent of Schools Tom Moore; and local and state officials State Sen. Beth Bye, Mayor Scott Slifka, and Deputy Mayor Shari Cantor.
In addition to ice cream, there will be lively dancing music provided by FatGrip, door prizes, face painting and other children’s activities, and special guest Rocky from the New Britain RockCats. Adria Giordano is very thankful for the support of media sponsor WFSB Channel 3 as well as other local businesses including Blo Hair Salon, The Claypen, Mr. Trophy, and presenting sponsor (that was directly involved with Gabriella’s open heart surgery) Integrated Anesthesia Associates.
This year there’s another non-profit being supported by the event – Gabriella Giordano’s own charitable organization, GG’s Hearts. Gabriella decided that she wanted to send supportive teddy bear pillows (called “splints”) to children in the hospital having heart surgery, and has already donated 70 of them. To watch Gabriella being interviewed about her non-profit on WFSB’s Better Connecticut, click here.
“I’m so proud of Gabriella for who she is and the amazing and kind heart she has. She had dealt with a lot of serious medical issues in her short life, but you wouldn’t know it by talking with her. She has the biggest heart and always wants to help others,” Adria Giordano said.