ORISKANY — Oriskany Central School Varsity Club helped raise $2,000 for a community member battling brain cancer and his family during a “Gray-Out” game featuring the girls’ varsity basketball team on Dec. 18.
Varsity Club President Carl Graziadei welcomed attendees of the game and first recognized Kevin Magnanti, 1996 graduate of Oriskany High School. The fund-raiser was to help support Magnanti’s family during his battle with cancer. He was joined by wife Alyssa and their children, Augie and Rocco, as well as his parents, Jim and Becky Magnanti.
“In high school, he (Kevin) played football and loved music,” Graziadei said. “He went to many concerts and shared some great times with his friends out at his parents’ pavilion. Kevin is known for being a die-hard Grateful Dead fan and wearing an occasional tie-dyed T-shirt. Kevin is a wonderful husband and father who spoils his children and loves to play cars with his boys.”
Graziadei went on to say during his introduction that being from a small community like Oriskany, allows for a tremendous outpouring of support. He recognized Jeanne Buehler, human resources assistant at Slocum-Dickson, who brought gifts donated by employees at Slocum. Jennifer Williams, owner of Hair We Are, collected donations at her salon. And Dave Buck, a member of Build-A-Bike, donated two new bicycles for Magnanti’s boys.
“This year one of the OCS district pillars is community involvement and we, as student athletes, decided to adopt the Magnanti family for Christmas,” Graziadei said. “Many of the winter athletes and their families, as well as teachers, faculty, staff, students and retired teachers, have made generous donations of gifts, gift cards and money to assist Kevin and his family.”
OCS student athletes sold 250 “Gray-Out” T-shirts. Hamilton, the school’s competitors for the evening, along with their coach Gary Weeks, were thanked for their participation and support. Gray is the color that symbolizes brain cancer awareness.
Money collected from T-shirt orders and donations made from the district’s Airplane Toss, run by the Student Council, gray ribbons sold by the Drama Club and half-court shots sponsored by the boys’ basketball team and Capri Pizza, will go to support Augie and Rocco Magnanti’s college fund.
“These little acts of kindness will have a huge impact on their lives when they are older,” Graziadei said of the children.
All OCS junior-varsity and varsity athletes helped support the “Gray-Out” cause. During a ceremony held at the event, captains from all the district’s winter athletic teams brought up the donations collected for the Magnanti family.