Rescue Inker helps make fundraiser fizzle
And that, he explained, is why he made sure to let people know that a fundraiser by the nonprofit rescue group Four Paws Sake — scheduled to be held in his neighborhood, Howard Beach — had neither his group’s support or blessing.
The Four Paws Sake event was to include a charity motorcycle ride, which Panzarella seemingly sees as solely Rescue Ink’s domain.
“We’re the guys on motorcycles rescuing animals around here,” he’s quoted as saying in the New York Daily News
As a result of Panzarella’s meddling, the event’s primary sponsor pulled out and the fundraiser was almost canceled.
“An eye-opening look into the dog-eat-dog world of animal rescue” is how the Daily News characterized the chain of events.
Phyllis Taiano, a Middle Village, N.Y.-based rescuer, planned the Four Paws Sake event to raise money to provide medical help, training and boarding to dogs in need of homes.
She lined up Crossbay Honda as a sponsor, and finagled donations of food from several local restaurants. Taiano, a member of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, also talked her childhood friend, Frank Buglione from the TV show “Jerseylicious,” into making an appearance with other cast members.
Dozens of riders registered to take part in the event’s charity motorcycle ride from Yonkers
All was going smoothly until, a few days before it was to take place, Taiano got a phone call, the Daily News reported:
“Turns out someone had walked into Crossbay Honda and other shops in Howard Beach raising questions about Taiano’s fund-raiser. That someone was Joseph Panzarella, a local resident and one of the founding members of “Rescue Ink,” a group of motorcycle-riding animal rescuers profiled in a National Geographic television series. Panzarella also gained some notoriety after being shot in a mob-related conflict in 1995.
“He contacted several businesses to discuss the Taiano’s fund-raiser and to remind them he was not affiliated with it.
“Suddenly, support for her event evaporated. Crossbay Honda was no longer able to host the fund-raiser and every eatery except Ragtime pulled their promised donations.”
“I got a tremendous amount of phone calls from people who thought this was our event,” Panzarella, aka Joseph Panz, explained. “I never told anyone not to participate … All I said is ‘I don’t know who’s running this but we’re the guys on motorcycles rescuing animals around here,’” he said.
Bound to have been feeling a bit bullied by then, Taiano turned to City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley for help. Crowley contacted the owners of Atlas Park in Glendale who agreed to host the fund-raiser.
A scaled-down fundraiser took place on Oct. 16. Taiano ended up losing more money than she made.
(Photos: Joseph Panzarella, from ABC News; Phyllis Taiano from the New York Daily News, by Bryan Pace)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 11th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, animal welfare, animals, charity, crossbay honda, dogs, four paws sake, fundraiser, howard beach, jerseylicious, joseph panzarella, motorycle, national geographic channel, panz, pets, phyllis taiano, rescue, rescue ink, ride, shelter, sponsors, television, turf