COVID-19The Examiner

With Trepidatious Mouse Click, Pleasantville Woman Drives Big Dollars to Restaurant Community

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Pleasantville’s Maria Amato with her family in front of Phelps Hospital. Amato’s sons, Jaxon Amato, left, and Nolan Amato along with their dad and Amato’s husband Anthony. The nurse in the background is Elena Davis.

Pleasantville’s Maria Amato was feeling nervous and was an unsure moment and mouse click away from deleting a Facebook post that has already raised about $7,500 in two days.

Thankfully for the Pleasantville restaurant community, Amato maintained her resolve and her GoFundMe project is fueling a surge of local shopping in the village amidst the beating businesses are taking while the country is essentially shutdown by the coronavirus.

“I was sitting at the dining room table a few days ago drinking coffee and scrolling though my phone when I came across a news article from New Orleans,” Amato recalled in an email Thursday. “A group had started a GoFundMe to send cookies to the local hospital. It grew beyond their initial hope and they raised so much money they started buying food from restaurants to provide meal for hospital workers. I know Pleasantville isn’t as large as a city like New Orleans, but I figured it could work here too.”

From there, Amato ran the idea by her husband, Anthony, one of the owners of Foley’s Club Lounge, and he told her to aim to raise maybe about $200 to pay for a few meals.
“I ended up deciding $5,000 was a lofty goal and I might be able to raise that much,” Amato said. “At least that would put a couple hundred in the pockets of our local restaurants.”
Amato then posted it on the Moms of Pleasantville Facebook page. She sat back, pleased for a fleeting moment. And then, a beat later, was gripped by panic.
“I was suddenly scared this wasn’t the best of my hair-brained ideas,” she said. “I had seen people complaining about food delivery and if it was really safe on Facebook. I’m not a known person in this town, what if they didn’t want to help because they didn’t trust me? I almost deleted it.”
Thank goodness she didn’t. Because here’s what happened:
“But then I got one donation. Then two. Then a friend reposted it,” Amato explained. “Throughout the rest of the day people started reaching out to me, reposting, telling their friends and calling their friends.”
On Thursday was the first delivery – 20 large pizzas from Lucio’s and several boxes of Girl Scout cookies to Phelps Hospital. Amato even took her kids to, as she put it, “teach them a lesson on being a good humans.” For Friday they have more deliveries on the schedule.
“I can’t take full credit for this fundraiser,” Amato modestly asserted, “I’m pretty sure without the help of this community reposting and reaching out to each other, I might have only raised a few hundred. The power of a small village huh?”
To donate, visit this GoFundMe page:


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