Editor’s Note: Welcome to Inside Out, our weekly roundup of stories about Staten Islanders making waves, being seen, supporting our community and just making our borough a special place to live. Have a story for Inside Out? Email Carol Ann Benanti at email@example.com.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — In December we shined the Advance spotlight on Lenore Marchese, the New Springville resident who’s always had a special affection for children’s books, and all the positive messages they convey.
After a time she gathered her personal thoughts, put them onto the pages of a lively children’s book and she herself entered the magical world of storytelling.
Fast forward several years and Lenore’s published books will now be available at a fun, free Book Signing Giveaway at Z One on Richmond Avenue in New Springville, Saturday morning, June 5 from 9 a.m. until noon — and all so that kids can smile all around the world.
HERE’S LENORE’S STORY!
For the last four years Lenore and her husband John have been babysitting for their two young grandsons, Louie and Carlo.
“It’s funny, before they arrived, John was grumpy,” Lenore confided. “But as soon as they got to our house, his heart was filled with so much love that all the grouchiness went away. So I thought, why not put those sentiments together in the form of a child’s book. But the book was never completed.
But when the coronavirus pandemic hit last year and we were all hunkered down, Lenore found herself with a little extra time and was able to pick up the manuscript again and put her thoughts on paper.
“Then one day I saw an ad for Operation Smile — such a wonderful children’s organization,” Lenore gushed and she knew she just had to help them.”
She thought if she could write a book and then a few sequels she would donate all of the proceeds to Operation Smile.
For those who aren’t aware, Operation Smile is a not-for-profit medical service organization founded in 1982 by Dr. William P. Magee, Jr. and his wife, Kathy Magee. Headquartered in Virginia Beach, the organization provides cleft lip and palate repair surgeries to children around the world and they also work to reduce the occurrence of cleft lips and palates to children everywhere.
Lenore says it only takes 45 minutes to correct mouth imperfections. And she adds, this can give a child hope in their life and they can join the world again and not hide in shame anymore and have a chance to smile.
Lenore’s journey began when one of the members of the Legion of Mary, where she’s a member, connected her to Fiverr.com, a group of freelance graphic artists. She arbitrarily chose a girl by the name of Cheyenne Davis who handled the illustrations and drew her husband John Marchese just as if she knew him, she said.
Lenore followed by submitting her manuscript.
The charitable writer chose to name her first book “The Grumpy, Grumpy Grandpa,” the second is titled “The Grumpy, Grumpy Grandpa’s Christmas,“ followed by “The Grumpy, Grumpy Grandpa’s Special Valentine,” “The Grumpy Grumpy Grandpa’s Easter Surprise,” and now “The Grumpy Grumpy Grandpa and the Virus” — each one “celebrating the power of the love of grandchildren for their grandpa.”
Kindle is the publisher and the soft cover book was printed by Amazon.com.
Lenore’s book, geared mainly for children 2 years old and over, may be purchased on Amazon.com by visiting Books, “The Grumpy, Grumpy Grandpa” by Lenore Marchese.
The good news is Lenore has already contributed $2,525 to Operations Smile’s national headquarters. and that amount is independent of the upcoming book signing.
“I appealed to friends on Facebook and to my hairdresser and I spread the word. It’s a short book and quick, fun reading. I was always close to my grandparents over the years and writing this book is my passion — and especially now that we need love in this world. I hope more people will buy my book so we can send more money to Operation Smile.”
In addition to Louie and Carlo, Lenore and John are grandparents to Sophia and Lily (Lillian).
CELEBRATIONS – MAY 23 TO MAY 29
SUNDAY – MAY 23
Happy birthday Sunday to Dr. Mark G. Zawada, Rita (Margaret) Perkowski, Michael Mojica, Kelly Ann Sohmer, Venessa Popinaro, Vivian Arrigo and Madison Sciarrino who turns 13.
MONDAY – MAY 24
Happy birthday Monday to David Lehr, Frank Smith, Brian Namorato, Sean O’Sullivan, Janis Balletto, former Miss Staten Island, Amy Reher Hariegel, Joan McConville, Mike Burke, Debbie LaBetti, Liam Michael Popovic, Lori Lombardi, Corey Favoloro turns 28.
Monday is wedding anniversary time for Carmela and Joe Falco, Stacy and John Belmonte, and Tom and Sandy Olsen.
TUESDAY – MAY 25
The best of birthdays Tuesday to Victoria Ann Lamberti, Miles Parker Lorentzen, who turns 17, Richard O’Connor, Paulie Brucato 23, Carol Horenburg and Dawn Dzlubela. ¶
WEDNESDAY – MAY 26
Birthday greetings Wednesday to Lou DeLuca, a community leader who is executive director of United Activities Unlimited, Dianne Petrarca, Russel Kamback, Joe Battista who turns 85, Marion Strafaci, Bobbie Van Alstyne, and Megan Eisler.
Happy 60th wedding anniversary Wednesday to Linda and Tom Flannagan.
THURSDAY – MAY 27
Thursday is birthday time for Susan Huus, Michael Fressola, Helen McCorry, Rebecca Ferrulli, Amanda Bruno, Matthew Zeumann, Leslie Johnson, Rosemary Murphy, Jolie Bozza, who’s now 21, Jennifer Petrotta, Erin O’Rourke, Kristina Fish and Stella Mammolito.
FRIDAY – MAY 28
Happy birthday Friday to Daniel Haley, Claire Quinn, Paul Falco, Joe Brevetti, Bob Denis Sr., Donna Tillman, Stephen Fish, and Edward Anthony Galant.
Happy wedding anniversary Friday to Mary Jo and John Clark and to Michele and Doug Volpe.
SATURDAY – MAY 29
Birthday greetings Saturday to Ed Rudiger, Marguerite Sambataro, Lisa Yates, Gerard Jansen, Allen Christopher Trembone and Vic Cocozziello.