Bay Ridge Toyota Proud Sponsors of Pietro’s Fight is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness and funds to find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. It was founded by Manni and Dayna Scarso in 2012 after the couple learned the devastating news that their then-3-year-old son Pietro was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) – the most common and lethal childhood genetic disorder in the world affecting one in every 3,500 male births.

Most children with DMD are confined to a wheelchair by the time they are 12 years of age, and succumb to the disease in their late teens due to respiratory complications. To date, there is no acceptable treatment or cure for DMD, a realization that temporarily paralyzed the Scarso’s and their family; but not for long.

Feeling revitalized by the love and support of family and friends, Dayna and Manni Scarso were determined to save Pietro and the thousands of boys like him by establishing a foundation focused on searching for and funding DMD research that will ultimately cure this deadly disease. The funds they raise support the most promising research programs aimed at treating and curing DMD. For the first time ever, there is hope to find a cure for this destructive disease in time to save Pietro and many other boys and their families.

Please help us in Pietro’s fight. Donate what you can today.

A Cry for Help

Pietro IS the perfect angel. He was given the #1 sharer award in his nursery school program because if someone falls, he is right there to wipe their tears and pick them up. However Pietro’s huge smile hides what’s really going on inside his body, for his muscles are deteriorating at an alarming pace.

Today we are here to pick him up, and save his life. Unless a cure or treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is found, Pietro will lose his ability to walk by adolescence, and will subsequently lose all muscle function. Like all boys with Duchenne, he will die from respiratory or heart failure in his late teens or early 20s.

Well we are certainly not going to accept this without a fight! With the help and support of our dear friends and family, we have hope. Visualize positive things and positive things will come your way! Please find it in your heart to look deep into this incredible smile, and reach into your pocket to help us find a cure.

Posted in Charity, Cure, inspiration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brooklyn Blue Storm can head to Georgia for championship tournament




Bay Ridge Toyota cut the 13 Little Leaguers a check for $5,000 on Friday, boosting their kitty to almost $10,000 — with promises from other donors of $14,500 more

Brooklyn’s Little League darlings now can head to Georgia and take the competition by storm.

The Brooklyn Blue Storm — the scrappy team of 8-year-olds who need $5,000 to travel to Georgia for a championship tournament — have collected more than enough to make the trip.

Bay Ridge Toyota cut the 13 Little Leaguers a check for $5,000 on Friday, boosting their kitty to almost $10,000 — with promises from other donors of $14,500 more.

“This is going to help these kids a great deal,” said coach Matt DiGrigoli, 43. “We’re going to get all the resources together and we’re going to make this an experience of a lifetime.”

After the team won a regional tournament to advance to the American Amateur Baseball Congress World Series last Saturday, parents and coaches have been reaching out to friends and family for donations.

The cash-strapped coaches and parents needed the $5,000 to rent four vans to drive the team and their parents to McDonough, Ga., for the tournament.

The team turned to the Daily News for help Thursday after coming up short on the money and readers stepped up to the plate with $3,300 in donations.

Managers at the Bay Ridge dealership saw the Bensonhurst team on Friday’s edition of WPIX’s “Morning News” and quickly cut them a check.

The children beamed as dealership manager Michael Ianelli — who also coaches a Little League team in New Jersey — presented them with the oversized check for $5,000.

“If it’s in my power to help these kids get to Georgia then we’re going to help them,” said Ianelli. “It’s an honor to do something like this. They are all great kids.”

Since the team has collected close to $25,000 for their title run, coaches said they may scrap the 18-hour drive and fly everyone down in style.

Any extra cash will be used for team jackets, equipment and award dinners. And even though they got new uniforms from a Washington Heights sports store, the kids will stick with their lucky jerseys for their title run.

“I’m really psyched that so many people donated so much to us. If we didn’t get to go to Georgia, it would have stunk,” said the team’s catcher Michael McGowan, 8.

“I’m excited. We get a chance to win the championship,” said outfielder Daniel Diego Ramirez, 8. “We have a good team. It feels good that we have enough money to go.”

With Alex Robinson

Read more:

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fundraising Campaign for Bay Ridge Senior Center


We are excited to announce that we’re using our Facebook page to help raise funds for the Bay Ridge Senior Center.  The goal of the fundraiser is to replace a $65,000 wheelchair-accessible van that was wrecked in a crash by a stolen car. We are matching each donation made through a secure app on our Facebook page, up to $15,000, now through the end of September. The new van is needed to transport seniors (who use wheelchairs or have limited mobility) between their homes and the center, to their doctors’ appointments, the supermarket and to visit relatives in nursing homes.

To donate to our fundraising campaign for the Bay Ridge Senior Center, visit

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

As I Walk Further Into The Darkness ( A New Level of Grieving)

I’ve reached a new level of grief. I’m still sad, but I can barely remember why. I still feel the absence of my life without my mother, who died 1 years and one month ago, yet I can barely remember the living woman. The life I shared with her is receding, as if it happened to someone else and I was only there to see it in 3rd person. There is still a hole in my life and a decided lack of “life” — no sparks kindling new ideas, no electricity of excitement, no radiance — but I no longer have anything with which to compare that lack of life. It’s as if these sad and lonely days are the way it has always been for me. I start life over everyday sticking with the same routine of keeping a troubled mind occupied with work waiting for a voice or signal of approval that never comes. That reassurance, that hand laid on my shoulder saying that “no matter what happens, everything will be fine.” Its been a long time since those days.

During those years , I had someone to talk to, someone who could help put life into a different perspective, and now there is just me without my sense of direction. To be honest, I still talk to her, but she never offers a different perspective. I used to feel a tenuous connection to her (or at least to our shared past) when I talked to her, but now I have no idea if I’m even talking to her or simply talking aloud.

My only reconnection is my past and I feel I’m losing it.My memories of him fading, I worry that I will forget her. I know I’ll forget the person I was when I was a child. No matter how I change, I’m always just me, and yet,  I cannot remember being that little boy, cannot remember being her son. MY childhood has receded far into my past. Or perhaps my inner child has become subsumed into my current persona? Either way, he no longer exists even in memory. And so will the person I was with her around disappear as I move further into the future without her.

The irony is that I was in such pain after her death that I made a special point to experience new things so I could create new memories. I thought new memories would help cushion the severity of the break between my loss and living life without her, yet those very memories are taking me further away from her.

I might not completely forget her. I have moments when I flash onto a vivid image of her, and as heartbreaking as those moments are (because I am reminded once again that she is dead), they are all I have left of her except for some of her things. It seems cruel that their things outlive the dead. Shouldn’t people live longer than things? Or else, shouldn’t the things disappear when our loved ones do? And yet, as my memories fade. There is bother more painful then when the word Mom gets stricken from your vocabulary. Or simply just has no use because there is no one there to answer the call, it falls on deaf ears. 

Every new step on the journey through grief brings its own grief. It saddens me that she is forever receding from me. Yet I am still here, and I must live. I can’t cocoon myself in memories of her and my life of having a mother. I can only go on doing what I have been doing — experiencing new things and making new memories, even if they take me further away from her.

Posted in inspiration, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bay Ridge Toyota Continues to Build a Better Brooklyn

Bay Ridge Toyota Continues To Build a Better Brooklyn With a Facebook Campaign

Bay Ridge Toyota launched its second Build a Better Brooklyn Facebook campaign where three local charities have the opportunity to win a donation simply by having fans vote for them on the Bay Ridge Toyota Facebook fan page. The non-profit with the most votes gets a percentage from every car sold during a 90-day period. Voting ends on August 20, 2012.

The charities involved in the second Build a Better Brooklyn promotion are:

  • Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance: Honors the memory of the 417 First Responders and works with other 9/11 groups to give support to families and veterans.
  • UPROSE: Brooklyn’s oldest Latino community-based organization is dedicated to the development of southwest Brooklyn and the empowerment of its residents through environmental and youth justice campaigns.
  • Francesco Loccisano Foundation: Works to create awareness and provide financial support for children with cancer and severe illness.

“Our last Build a Better Brooklyn winner was the Center for Anti-Violence Education in Brooklyn and we’re proud to say that our $2,200 donation went to such a deserving cause. We encourage the Brooklyn community to help us choose our second non-profit by voting on our Facebook page,” expressed Mike Ianelli, Bay Ridge Toyota GM.

To become a fan and vote for your favorite charity, visit

If you’d like to nominate a local non-profit, please email


About Bay Ridge Toyota 

Bay Ridge Toyota is a full-service Toyota dealership. Throughout their 20-year history as one of the largest family-owned groups of automotive dealerships nationally, they’ve always remembered their roots as a ‘mom and pop’ business and offer a variety of driver amenities, unique service discounts and quality customer service.

For more information, hours and directions, please visit

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Definition of The End



A final part of something, esp. a period of time, an activity, or a story.
Come or bring to a final point; finish.

I used to hate ending things.  But as I grow older, I realize that ultimately it’s for the best.  When I was younger, I would fight hard to keep things status quo, regardless of the looming signs.  By the time things did end, things had gotten ugly and out of hand.  But let us find hope in our times of despair.

I sit here reflecting, pondering, and reevaluating my relationships.  There are those that put forth effort to reach out now and then and say ‘HI! How has life been treating you??  Let’s meet up!”  I do my best to be that way, reaching out now and then to old friends, keeping abreast of what’s going on with close friends, and constantly inviting them out to share in fun events, to see them as much as possible.  More importantly, when they are in need, I help.  When they are ill, I take care of them.  When they are down, I try to cheer them up.  I do my best to give, and give generously without expectation.

Then there are those that do not care to reciprocate, or life becomes so busy that they become ingrained in the daily routine and forget what is most important in life. They rarely reach out because their world is so self-absorbed and self-centered.  They rarely see beyond themselves and they do not share in the joys of life or what good fortune comes their way.  Unless it benefits them, they make little to no effort in keeping or growing a relationship.  They would not go out of their way to assist when their help is truly needed and would make a great difference if it would be inconvenient to them.  Actions speak louder than words.  I used to think all this did not matter if I truly cared for them.  But now I am slowly realizing that I have been in denial.  I do admit I begin to tire of putting forth constant effort for years with such people.

In the end, it matters not how much we make, or how much we own.  All that is left are the memories of us, and how we were to others.  Did we help build and grow or destroy?  Did we bring sunshine and happiness, or darkness and hatred?  Were we straight and upfront or dishonest and shady?

When we are on our deathbed, what truly matters?  -I have pondered this a great deal since high school.

I can only expect from others what I do myself.  If all they do is take, take take, and rarely reach out to say hello, rarely ask to meet up, rarely take it upon their self to put forth effort into the relationship, that clearly tells me something.

Older and wiser now, as soon as I hear the other side say, “Let’s call it quits,” I don’t push back anymore.  I hear them loud and clear, and I will respect their wishes.  Ultimately, I know that I have given 100%.  I can sleep well at night, without shame or fear or guilt.  I know I gave it my all, and they did not care enough to try.  I know my self-worth.  I know that I am a good person with a good heart.  If they do not appreciate who I am and what I have done, I am content with myself knowing I put forth the effort with the best intentions in mind, and it is time to let them go.

Thus, it was great while it lasted.  Let us bask in the moments of joy.  Let us reminisce the wonderful memories we have made.  Let us move forward in joy and not sorrow.  Let us not be bitter that it had to end.

Each beginning has an end, and for every end there is a new beginning.

It’s time to move on and let go…

Your Friend,

Joe Ciaccia

Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday in Heaven Mom

Today has been one of the hardest days of my life. I knew it was going to be hard, but the build up of today and Mother’s day has been really getting to me. I wrote this poem to my mother today on what would have been her 53rd birthday. I hope it finds her somehow. I thought I’d share. Thank you all for the support you have shown in the past year. It has meant a great deal.

Today is your birthday mom
But I won’t be singing you a song.
It’s only been a less then a year mom
But it feels eternities long.

Today is your birthday mom,
Your number is out of service is what I’m told
You are getting harder to reach now mom,
And this world is getting cold.

Today is your birthday mom,
I’m sorry I have no gift.
I guess I’m being selfish mom,
But I was kind of looking for a lift.

Today is your birthday mom,
But it’s not a happy day.
Smiles are now tears mom,
Since you went away.

Today is your birthday mom,
So I’m sending kisses above.
I hope they find you mom,
I pray you see my Love.

Happy Birthday Mom! </3


Joe Ciaccia


Posted in inspiration | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments