Rockville Centre family raises funds in memory of Gina Giallombardo

22-year-old South Side High School alumna died of cancer in 2011


The Rockville Centre community came out to support the ninth annual Gina Giallombardo Benefit for Life Fundraiser on June 23.

Giallombardo, a 2006 graduate of South Side High School, was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare soft-tissue pediatric cancer in 2009. She died from the disease in 2011.

For the first time, the fundraiser was held at Radigan’s in South Hempstead, and once again garnered the support from local families and businesses.

“The community was amazing, as they always are,” said Janice Davidson, sister of Giallombardo. The biggest money raiser of the evening were the raffle baskets, she noted, which were provided by people in the community.

The $5,600 raised throughout the night will benefit several organizations, including the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Center, the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island and the Gina Giallombardo Scholarship Fund at South Side High School.

The event not only raised money, but socks as well. “My sister always wore silly socks,” Davidson said. “Every year, we ask people to bring silly socks to the event.” Every two to three months, she added, the Giallombardo family brings the socks to the Sloan Kettering Pediatric Unit in Manhattan to share with patients, or the Ronald McDonald House.