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Gentile Family Donates Funds to Project Sunshine Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Tony Gentile and Project Sunshine students

With spring programming cancelled, Anthony (Tony) Gentile, Facilities Manager for the Faculty Student Association (FSA) did not want Stony Brook University’s Project Sunshine chapter to go without the funds that they normally raise through their plant sale collaboration, so he and his wife donated $500 to the student group. 

Tony Gentile and Project Sunshine students
Tony Gentile and Project Sunshine students

Project Sunshine is a nonprofit organization with chapters on college campuses across the country, whose goal is to provide free social, educational and recreational programming for children and their families as they face medical challenges. The Stony Brook chapter focuses its efforts on the Stony Brook Children’s Hospital. 

Each year, Gentile grows spider plants, fig trees and avocado plants that he nurtures at his home and then donates to Project Sunshine. Special events like the FSA’s Street Fair, Earthstock or CommUniversity Day provide a great opportunity to host an outdoor plant sale and raise money for programs, activities and craft kits for children facing medical challenges at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.

Gentile contacted Project Sunshine’s club president Chloe Savino to let her know that he and his wife, Lisa, would like to make a donation of $500 to the Project Sunshine Stony Brook chapter in lieu of the annual plant sale. He also wanted to say that he will have plenty of plants ready for a future event when the time comes. “Looking forward to easier days ahead. We will get through this together, especially with the help of your great organization,” said Gentile.

Tony Gentile is a Seawolf at heart; as an alum who studied economics and engineering, he began his career at Stony Brook University designing pretzel carts on campus before eventually working for FSA for nearly 20 years. Gentile manages sustainability efforts on campus through the Freight Farm, composting and raised planting beds that grow herbs and vegetables.

“Thank you so much for offering to donate; your generosity toward our organization is so amazing,” beamed Savino.  “We truly appreciate all you have done for the kids, and I really cannot thank you enough for your kindness and generosity.” 

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