PLAINS TWP. — Dozens of friends and family members gathered Sunday at the Woodlands Inn & Resort to support Dominick Costantino Sr. of Hanover Township, who is battling cancer.
The 52-year-old father of three was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia last August.
The fundraiser was organized by Judy Passetti, also of Hanover Township. The event included more than 100 raffle baskets, food and entertainment by Iron Cowboy, Studio Five, the Jean Zano Band and Oz.
Passetti and most of the people in attendance are parishioners at Exaltation of the Holy Cross Church in Hanover Township, where Costantino is active in the men’s group and a volunteer for the church’s many fundraisers and other events.
He is the owner of Fantasy Kitchens in Laflin.
“We are so incredibly blessed to have so many wonderful friends would do this for us,” said Costantino’s son, Dominick, 21, who is a senior at Wilkes University and also the director of music and the youth group director at the church.
The younger Dominick and his siblings, Bethany, 20, a student at Luzerne County Community College, and Antonio, 18, a student at Penn State, Wilkes-Barre, all took the fall semester off to spend time with their dad, who is undergoing chemotherapy at the Hershey Medical Center.
Since someone has to stay with their father at all times, the three took turns during the week to visit their dad, while their mother, Bonnie, who works full-time, visited on the weekends.
The diagnosis came as a shock to everyone in Costantino’s life, said Bethany.
“It was a huge wake-up call,” she said. “It came out of nowhere. You go from him being very healthy to knowing he has cancer.”
Costantino will begin his final round of treatments Tuesday in Hershey.
“Our dad is a very positive person,” said Dominick Jr. “He always told us is to look for the best in people.”
Antonio, who works with his dad in the summer and finished some of the kitchen projects he started, agreed that his dad’s positive personality has helped the family get through this difficult time in their lives.\
“It’s been hard driving back and forth to Hershey, but I’d do it again because it’s been a life-changing experience,” he said. “This whole thing makes you appreciate everything.”