Benefit celebrates life of Kirkville woman

A fundraiser is planned from 1 -- 8 p.m. Sunday, March 11 for Kirkville resident Jeannine Schirripa, a single mom and former owner of Wise Guys Comedy Room in downtown Syracuse. Schirripa was diagnosed with Stage 4 Small Cell Lung Cancer in May 2006. Her cancer spread quickly and she received several rounds of chemo, as well as radiation. Sadly, Schirripa passed away Thursday, March 1.

In October 2006, a group of Schirripa's friends formed a support group "Team Jeannine." Comprised of approximately 20 people, it began as a group who didn't all know each other before starting to work on their common cause of helping Schirripa. The team is made up of her friends, co-workers, former co-workers and family members.

As the result of many medical costs not being covered by insurance, the financial demands of everyday living affected the entire family, making it difficult to manage with disability insurance as Schirripa's sole income. Because of this, Team Jeannine decided to proceed with the benefit for her family, especially her two sons, Marco (a senior at ES-M and Jason (a senior at the University of Central Florida).

Friends share thoughts and memories

"Whether you knew her for two years or 20 years, you still feel lucky," said Jeffrey Bush, friend.

Cynthia Losurdo, also Schirripa's friend added, "She was never satisfied with status quo. She always had to go the extra mile."

Derrick Tingley, Schirripa's boyfriend, described her as a devoted mother and friend. Having volunteered for the ES-M Marching Band for more than a decade, Tingley said "She was very dedicated to her kids," Tingley said.

Schirripa had a very kind and selfless spirit. "She put everyone before herself. She saw the best in everyone," he said.

Benefit information

The fundraiser will be hosted by the Ohm Lounge, 314 Franklin St., Syracuse. Regarding the staff, Losurdo said, "Their overwhelming support and generosity has been and continues to be amazing. We cannot express how much gratitude and respect that we have for the owner, Rich; their event planner, Adam; and each and every one of their employees."

Tickets are $20 per person/$35 per couple. There will be a variety of food, raffles and prizes, with live entertainment by various comedians and music from ESP. All proceeds will be donated to the Team Jeannine Trust for the Schirripa family.

Anyone wishing to contribute donations can make checks payable to "Team Jeannine." Please send to Dave Wheeler, c/o Team Jeannine, 3947 Stetson Circle, Syracuse, NY 13215.

Visit teamjeannine.com for more information.

Benefit information:

When: 1 -- 8 p.m. Sunday, March 11

Where: Ohm Lounge, 314 Franklin St., Syracuse

Tickets: $20 per person/$35 per couple

Email: thecatisback@teamjeannine.com

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