By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brian Doyle, a Kingsborough Community College student, spent the night Hurricane Sandy hit rescuing people from their flooded homes in Breezy Point. Doyle has a couple of buddies who are firefighters and he joined them on their boat that night, traveling from place to place, looking for storm victims. “We were pulling people out of their houses. It was a long night,” he said.
In one rescue operation, Doyle and his firefighter friends pulled seven members of a family to safety.
Four months later, Doyle’s bravery has earned him one of the “Frankie’s Heroes” awards from the Brooklyn-based Francesco Loccisano Memorial Foundation. Named in memory of Francesco “Frankie” Loccisano, http://www.frankiesmission.org/frankie.php a 17-year-old Xaverian High School student who died of cancer in 2007, the foundation provides assistance to children with cancer and their families.
The foundation also bestows annual “Frankie’s Heroes” awards on local students who have performed heroic deeds or who have served their communities in some way.
This year’s crop of “Frankie’s Heroes” winners will receive their awards at a brunch the foundation is holding on Sunday, March 10, at the Dyker Beach Golf Course Catering Hall, at noon.
In addition to Doyle, the winners are: Salvatore Barcia, Ebony Cadet, Giovanni Guglielmo, Alyssa Guillen, Angelia Nicole Lubrano, Brigid McEvoy, Nicole Mullan, Eduard Nogay, Xander O. Pond, Bridget Shaughnessy, Mia Shaughnessy, Madison Utecht, and Christiana Vazquez-Rivera.
“We do it in my son’s spirit. He loved a hero,” said Camille Orrichio Loccisano, Frankie’s mother. While undergoing cancer treatments at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Frankie would often visit children in the hospital to lift their spirit, she said. Orrichio Loccisano started the foundation with her sister Lucy Bruno.
The winners were announced at a press conference at the catering hall on Feb. 25.
“Everybody here is a true hero. We are truly honored to have you as part of our family,” Bruno told the honorees.
“You are setting the example. It’s a domino effect,” Orrichio Loccisano said. She said she believes that people who perform good deeds inspire others to do the same.
The winners were chosen from nominations submitted to the foundation from civic organization, schools, and other sources, Orrichio Loccisano said.
Doyle said the award means a lot to him. "It's awesome to get recognized," he said.
Nogay, a student at Fort Hamilton High School in Bay Ridge, was chosen because he has displayed courage in the face of a cancer battle, foundation leaders said, He was diagnosed with a sarcoma cancer in his junior year and had to have his arm amputated. A player on the school volleyball team, he vowed to learn how to play with one arm. He currently serves as manager of the girls’ volleyball team.
Bridget and Mia Shaughnessy are sisters who attend Saint Ephrem Catholic School in Dyker Heights. They formed the “Green Club,” a group which cleans beaches and teaches children how to recycle by creating arts and crafts projects. The girls are also members of the “Little Angels,” a group that serves the elderly and mentally ill.
The guest of honor at the brunch will be Joseph Fox, http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/transit_bureau/transit.shtml chief of the New York City Transit Police. Christina Bruno, a teacher, is the chairman of the awards event.
State Sen. Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge-southern Brooklyn) praised the students for their accomplishments. “There is probably a future senator, congressperson, or doctor in this room,” he said.
The winners also earned praise from Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny (D-Coney Island-Bay Ridge). He predicted that the students would “become part of the leadership of this community.”
For more information on the brunch, call 718-234-1729.