Camillus fundraiser to benefit fire victims

A fundraiser Saturday at St. Joseph's Church in Camillus will help Betty and Ernie Palma recover from the Oct. 25 fire that destroyed their home on 113 Park Way.

The gift card shower will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. at St. Joseph's Parish Center. To help the Palmas recover from the loss of their home and belongings the fundraiser encourages people to donate gift cards to retail stores.

Betty said when Fr. Greg LeStrange first told her about the plans for the benefit, she thought there was probably someone else who could use the help more.

"We're very thankful for the community being interested and helping us," she said. "It's like being wrapped in a warm fuzzy blanket. It's just so good, I can go to bed at night and not have to worry that Ernie and I are out on a limb on our own."

The Palmas, both 78, met in high school at age 15 and were married at 23, said Betty. They lived on Park Way for more than 30 years. Betty taught elementary school at East Hill Elementary for 26 years and served on the West Genesee School Board; Ernie is a retired post master.

Palma was "very surprised" at how the community had come together to help them and wish them well, she said.

Last week another fire in Camillus inspired a committee to help the victims, and as soon as Palma heard about the committee she asked to be a part of it.

"You don't get anything without saying thank you, one way or the other," she said.

She wanted to publicly thank her children, Mark Palma and Nicki Andrew, her sister Joan Tumolo, of LaFayette, and "dear friend" Dian Roch, of Camillus, for their support.

The details

What: Gift Card Shower to benefit Betty and Ernie Palma

When: 2 to 4 p.m., Saturday Nov. 22

Where: St. Joseph's Parish Center, West Genesee Street, Camillus

What you can do: Donate gift cards in any amount for stores like Aldi, BonTon, JCPenney, Lowes, P&C, Target and Walmart

Info: Call Mike Letizia, 488-5078 or Cindy Heath at St. Joseph's Church, 488-8490

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