Amazing Derby Day Gala to remember and honor a special little boy & to help others in his name

April 18, 2018

Written By

Mary Friona Celani

It’s Off to the Races as the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation, prepares for its Derby Day Gala 2018, a fundraising event held in conjunction with the running of the 144th Kentucky Derby.

The event raises money to support the mission of the Foundation, namely to assist families struggling with the diagnosis of pediatric cancers, support research efforts in the area of childhood cancers, and provide assistance to youth activities and programs.

This foundation was formed out of love and loss. Founded by Mark Napoleone and Laurie (Pero) in 2007 after the devastating loss of their 8-year-old little boy, Michael, to Burkitt’s Lymphoma, an aggressive form of blood cancer.

To date, the foundation has assisted 355 families with $332,000 worth of support during their child’s illness, contributed $73,000 to support research, gave $49,000 to assist youth organizations and donated $50,000 to building the new Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester.

All in the name of sweet Michael. How amazing is that.



The evening features a “Kentucky Derby” theme, food, drinks, live music, Silent and Live Auctions, and a professional photo in your best Derby attire. There will be prizes for the best woman’s hat, Dapper Derby Award for the men and a best dressed couple’s award. Tickets are $75/each and Win, Place and Show Sponsorships are available.

There are many ways for you to support this event -auction donations (gift certificates, electronics, sports memorabilia, spa packages, and weekend get-a-ways). Monetary donations are also accepted. All donations are tax deductible.

For those who are interested in attending the gala, tickets can be purchased by contacting Ann Marie at 585-721-0151.Through the generosity of individuals and businesses, and the work of volunteers, the foundation has been able to “Lend a Hand for Hope” to those in need for over 10 years. For more information, gallop onto their website: or find them on Facebook, or call 585-861-0550.

Here is a link to the Facebook Event.

SO – Win, Place and Show your support for the Foundation’s annual fundraising event to be held at Terry Hills Golf Course & Banquet Facility in Batavia on Saturday, May 5th, 2018, from 4 to 9 p.m.


About Me



Welcome to Totally Buffalo! A local lifestyle website.

My name is Mary Friona-Celani and I am the creator of this site! I’m a wife, a mom, a grandma, a Buffalo booster, an entrepreneur and a small business owner. I’m so glad you stopped by.  After 20 years in the buffalo media, I went out on my own to tell stories about the people, places, events and all-around fabulousness of this wonderful place we call home. Buffalo is different and so is this site. We are here to share stories, encourage kindness, and help make this a better place to live.

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