Sometimes a cause will just move you to act and that's exactly what happened to Joe Petrucelli of Tri-County Sporting Goods in Patterson when he heard about a 14-year-old Pawling teen who needs a heart transplant.
Petrucelli is no stranger to causes and is always looking to help the community. So when he met Joshua Brennan at the Pawling Fire Department recently he knew he had found his latest endeavor.
"I find out this kid needs a new heart and his father Tom is a volunteer firefighter and he just loves the fire department and was recently named an honorary fireman by the chief in a special ceremony," Petrucelli said.
Joshua, who has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, and has had numerous surgeries and now has a pacemaker and two valves keeping him alive, will eventually need a new heart and has been placed on the list.
And that's where the need comes in. The heart transplant and the surrounding medical care cost a lot of money. That's where Petrucelli knew he could step in to help.
"We sold Henry Rifles for a little girl who was in need and donated all $34,000 we raised, so I thought, why not do it again, only this time we will focus on firefighters and first-responders," he said.
Petrucelli contacted the owner of the rifle company and they donated 12 Heirloom Rifles and Petrucelli purchased another 42 to make the number 54, the number of the ladder company Joshua's father works for.
Now he just needs to sell the specially-marked guns to firefighters or really anyone who wants to help and all the proceeds will be donated to Joshua's medical fund. He's also selling raffle tickets for a free gun and pins and there is a GoFundMe page for those who just wish to donate.
He will hold a special event on Sept. 30 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the store to celebrate Joshua and hopefully sells some guns.
"This kid loves the Pawling Fire Department and washes trucks and helps clean the firehouse," he said. "He is really dedicated to the department and it's sad he won't be able to be a firefighter himself."
But, Petrucelli said, hopefully, with help from the community Joshua will be healthy and strong once he receives his new heart.
If your department or any members would like to purchase a Henry Rifle visit Tri-County Sporting Goods at 2656 Rt. 22, Patterson. For information, call (845) 878-6084. Or visit GoFundMe.
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