(WTNH) – It’s the season of giving and it’s Giving Tuesday. There’s a very special group of people in Guilford who are truly in the spirit of the season.
Last year on Giving Tuesday, Melanie DiNicola received an act of kindness that provided her with a small windfall. This year, she is paying it forward and donated to five local charities including KARE, which stands for Kindness Always Rewards Everyone.
KARE keeps alive the legacy of Paul Dostie, a popular small business owner who died from glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain cancer. Dostie’s family has owned Jerry’s Transmission in Guilford for more than 60 years and Dostie mentored young people.
At first, the mission of KARE was two-fold helping young adults get into the trade and providing financial support to families fighting serious and life-threatening illnesses.
“It’s really three-pronged,” said Linda Dostie Kelly, Paul’s sister. “It’s really with the brain cancer, it’s with heart disease, which is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, in particular, and glioblastoma for brain cancer. And then helping young people get into the trades.”
Dostie’s daughter Allison has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is the same heart condition as current Fairfield Prep boy’s basketball coach Mike Papale. Papale is also making a difference with his foundation “In a Heartbeat.” Now, a bond has been formed between KARE and In a Heartbeat.
“What they’ve done in less than a year has been remarkable,” Papale said. “It’s great for us to partner with them because they do things that we don’t do. We do things that they don’t do, so there are ways for us to support patients with heart disease like we do.”