Nine years ago, David's Treasure Tree was created as a way to honor the memory of 15-year-old David Kanarek, a Greenwich resident who passed away after battling acute lymphomatic leukemia at .
Today, every child who comes through the Stamford Hospital's Pediatric Unit during their birthday, or a rough day, anyone who just needs a good pick-me-up, gets to visit the Treasure Tree and find a smile inside.
On Tuesday, Jack Bryant, Malinda Polite and Tino Giresi brought a hand-truck full of gifts to restock the Treasure Tree. Bryant and Polite are president and chairperson of the membership committee of Stamford's NAACP. Giresi is the owner of Cafe Eats / Club 804 and hosted the groups fundraising event, helping them raise the toys to donate.
"I think today is a major, major success," Bryant said. "It's priceless, you can't put a price on seeing those kids faces when they get to pick out one of those toys."
Giresi, who hosted the NACCP's fundraiser at his establishment, didn't want all the limelight and attention.
"It's just nice to think some small action on my part is going to get the kids' minds off what they're going through," he said. "I'm just here for them."
RN Kathy Livolsi said if people want to help but aren't sure how, something like this is the perfect opportunity to get involved.
"The kids need to be here, they don't choose to be here," she said. "Having something like this de-mystifies the experience for them. We're very fortunate we have a community that really supports David's Treasure Tree."