SWFL restaurant owners, firefighters work to raise money for cancer, honor those lost
Getting a haircut was hard there for a while during the pandemic, but not today!
Some young cancer patients had fun shaving heads Friday. These folks have all raised money to help kids fighting the disease.
WINK News Anchor Amanda Hall caught up with them before the special haircuts and found out the special meaning this has for them.
Cal and Genevieve Bruno are Southwest Florida transplants. Moving here was “a roll of the dice,” they said. They brought their Brooklyn-themed restaurant, Bruno’s of Brooklyn, along with them.
But the change of scenery didn’t erase the memory of Sept. 11.
“I worked in Midtown. Went over a bridge headed home. No phone service. Lost friends. Very, very emotional day,” said Genevieve.
“I remember the day like it was yesterday,” Cal added.
So Friday, they wanted some joy, and like good restaurant owners, they delivered, raising thousands of dollars for kids battling cancer.
“Cancer touches home in our family,” Cal explained. “I lost my dad in 2005 from cancer. That was devastating for us. Ever since then I’m looking for a way to beat it, even a little bit, even win just for one day.”
From Cal’s kitchen to the firehouse, these first responders also answered the call to help kids while giving a subtle nod to those we’ve lost.
“It’s a way to honor those fallen ones not just due to September 11, but even to cancer itself,” said Lehigh Acres firefighter, Maury Morejon.
The local firefighter community just lost a brother when Lieutenant Mar Weiss died of pancreatic cancer. Morejon thought, what better way to honor him and all the others.
“It was just instantly, you know, it just clicked. I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” he said.
This is his third year dedicated to this cause.
“After I did it the first time and I saw the smile that something so insignificant to me, like shaving my head, brought to these patients, not only that but the money we’ve been able to raise from this fundraising event, I was just hooked,” Morejon said.
This year, he recruited some help, and one after another, after another, they all got an unforgettable cut.
Heroes for all of us every day, but especially today.
As for Cal, a new memory; and while it won’t erase the old ones, he says, “It kind of eases the pain a little bit because you’re doing something good.”