Sundaes holds fundraiser for former Warriors ball player

By Desirée Keegan

It may have been raining, but the Comsewogue community was shining with its support for a local.

Sundaes, a self-serve frozen yogurt, ice cream and gelato shop in Port Jefferson Station, held a fundraiser for Daniel Colasanto, a Comsewogue High School graduate who was hit by a car on June 16 and suffered severe head trauma as a result of the accident.

On July 1, which was coincidentally Colasanto’s 19th birthday, between 5 and 8 p.m., the local business donated 20 percent of its sales to the family. The campaign generated $700 in donations, which not only included the funds from sales and a 50/50 raffle, but extra cash that patrons wanted to donate in his honor.

“They say once a Warrior always a Warrior, and it is so true.”

— Daniella Pajonas

“I almost started crying — that’s unreal,” said Sundaes manager Gina Prezitali, who lives in Sound Beach, when she found out how much money was raised. “A couple of the girls here are close with him. We’re a family here; we care about each other, and that was the largest turnout I’ve ever seen, and most money we’ve raised. It was unbelievable the way everyone came together. It gave me chills.”

Warriors young and old flocked to Sundaes to show how much they cared, and after purchasing ice cream, many of them told the cashiers to keep the change.

“It’s crazy — we had a woman come in here and she graduated from Comsewogue in 1976,” Sundaes employee Daniella Pajonas, who is a neighbor of, and graduated with Colasanto, said. “They say once a Warrior, always a Warrior, and it is so true.”

Within the first 15 minutes of the event, the line wrapped around the inside of the building, and never died down after that.

“There’s so many people here,” Pajonas said. “It feels so good. I graduated with all of these kids. I feel so lucky that I grew up here.”

By the first half hour, nearly 100 community members had walked through the doors, most of whom stayed and packed the tables and benches, shared stories, showed support with their #PrayforDan T-shirts, and signed a birthday card.

Daniella Pajonas works the register at Sundaes during the event. Photo by Desirée Keegan
Daniella Pajonas works the register at Sundaes during the event. Photo by Desirée Keegan

“He’s an amazing person,” Samantha Donlon said. She graduated from Comsewogue in June. “He’s funny, he’s sarcastic, he’s very athletic, a fun person to be around and always someone you can count on. Everyone, even people who didn’t know him, are reaching out a helping hand. I think it’s amazing, and I’m proud to be a part of the Comsewogue community.”

The fundraiser comes following a string of support from the area. Chick-fil-A has donated food to the hospital three days a week, where as much as 50 friends at a time pack the 11th floor Ronald McDonald Lounge in Stony Brook University Hospital’s trauma center to show how much they care. Other local eateries have also donated food, and Port Jeff Sports made the T-shirts that close friends and family wear in support of the former Warriors baseball and football standout, who is now on the baseball roster at The College of St. Rose. Besides local companies, family and friends, and even people who didn’t know Colasanto are lending a helping hand in whatever way they can.

“It’s so amazing to see how everyone can come together in this family’s time of need, and it’s amazing to see how many lives Dan touched, and how it’s affected everybody,” said Nicole Blase, Colasanto’s girlfriend of three years. “I love him with all my heart. He helped make me the person I am today; he’s my number one. He’s so genuine, caring, and most of all, funny. He brightens up the room, and he puts a smile on everyone’s face. He’s just an amazing person, and I would give anything for him. Just pray for Dan.”