Marilyn Goldstone’s Enduring Touch Rallies A Community Helping Thousands Of Families For Thanksgiving

The three amigos Jay Piccirillo, Nick Roussas, owner of Frankie’s Diner and Johnny Vazzano unload turkeys for the needy.

Marilyn Goldstone could make you laugh. She could make you cry. She could infuriate, cajole and rasp you to places you’d never expect through sheer force of will. If someone needed help she was the first to step up. And she had a way to rally an army of local entrepreneurs to a cause.

If a friend were sick, she’d cook up a pot of pea soup and deliver it, unannounced on your doorstep. Another friend blows out the lower portion of a back with radiating sciatica down each leg. Need a ride? No sweat, Marilyn took care of it.

Jay “The Ice Man” Piccirillo served mountain ranges of free ice cream.

In December 1982, a knucklehead sets fire to the city’s Christmas Village, a re-creation of Santa’s workshop, that at first demoralizes a community, then brings about a spirit that returns it from the ashes. Marilyn Goldstone spent morning, noon and night rallying toys for the city’s impoverished kids.

She’s an unforgettable force that has never been silenced, all these years after her passing.

On Tuesday, Johnny Vazzano, Jay Piccirillo and a host of public safety officials, union leaders and corporate givers stepped up to honor her memory and a foundation in her name on behalf of one of the largest food drives in the state in the parking lot of Vazzano’s Upper East Side restaurant.

Folks line up for Thanksgiving meals for their families.

A variety of trucks pulled up with thousands of turkeys to be delivered to the needy while others stood in line to receive birds and trimmings for their families.

Police Chief AJ Perez with attorney Tom Ganim, brother of Mayor Joe Ganim, who donated more than 200 turkeys.

Piccirillo showed up with his Micalizzi’s “snowmobile” truck serving free Italian ice and ice cream including pumpkin ice cream, green apple Italian ice, and for the very first time eggnog ice cream which will be also available at Vazzy’s all week.

All throughout the day Piccirillo and Vazzano thanked each and every person who donated Thanksgiving meals in honor of Marilyn Goldstone’s legacy.

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15 comments

  1. Lennie,

    Your photo of the line for a Turkey has major obstructions to the left and right. You are so naughty.

    I just met Jay Piccarillo for the first time. He is so pleasant and friendly. I do NOT drink Egg Nog but his Egg Nog icecream was delicious.

    Wes Mathews was there and we had a nice chat about the poor treatment of John Bagley.

    John Vazzano and Jay Piccarrilo were personally greeting everyone. It was a pretty amazing operation.

    Everyone was so happy and in the holiday spirit!

    Johnny & Chris Vazzanno have donated to our Christmas Tree Lightings and Nick Roussas has donated to our Christmas Tree Lightings and Easter Egg Hunts.

    Thank you to the Johnny & Chris Vazzano, Jay Piccarrillo, and Nick Roussas for all they do for Bridgeport.

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    1. Lennie, is this Facebook or Only In Bridgeport, Maria giving us a step by step of meeting people. it’s the makeover Maria all warm and fuzzy trying to show how she is making changes but it’s the same old same old with her still name dropping.

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  2. As a rookie firefighter December 1982, our crew was one of many firefighters who responded to a sets fire to the city’s Christmas Village, and it was Marilyn Goldstone who spent morning, noon and night rallying toys for the city’s impoverished kids. Marilyn Goldstone was already involved with WICC radio station’s Christmas Fund Drive for donations on The Tiny Markle Show. Marilyn had that very distinctive voice but it was her love of helping that drew people and businesses towards assisting her to assist those in need, it was never about her.

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    1. Ron-Marilyn came to American in the late 50’s from Manchester, England with her lovely Mum, Dolly. For 30 years they lived Evergreen Apts next to P.T. Yes, it was a distinctive voice! Her love of Bridgeport and the gift of coming to America was culminated by her becoming a citizen. She was the Jewish Mother Teresa of Bridgeport. She passed away on April 2, 2007 at age 65. Happy that she has not been forgotten for all her good works.

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      1. Happy Thanksgiving sir!- Marilyn Goldstone was truly one of the most beautiful Human beings- Tom Kelly was her faithful sidekick and together they made miracles. The first time I met her was during a Wicc toydrive- I heard her on the radio and on my way home from work in Stamford, I immediately went to a toy store and purchased Stuffed animals. Marilyn Goldstone and Tom Kelly were instrumental in the success of my Celebrity Tag sale at Captains Cove seaport along with UI sandy Harden. We made lots of bucks for the homeless that year and brought hundreds of gifts to the Pembroke Street Homeless shelter on Christmas day. I remember Marilyn’s orchestration of a Thanksgiving feast for the homeless at the Days Inn on Lafayette Blvd. Was an honor volunteering for this woman who never took acolades in Life. She was an absolute Angel with one of the most annoying voices I ever heard. :-). She was always accompanied by her beautiful blue eyed mother Dolly. If she liked you , she smothered you with love. If you were on her shit list you were destroyed. She also had her faithful sidekick Tom Kelly and the two of them made an amazing impact in the city of Bridgeport and on me. Johnny Vazzano, Jay Piccirillo and a host of others Have been carry on Marilyn Goldstone’s legacy and creating their own. These guys are way too generous- They continue to give back to the City of Bridgeport daily. Proud to know all of them. Remembering Marilyn Goldstone reminded me of her energy, enthusiasm and genuine love for the City Of Bridgeport. There are doers, Movers and shakers. She was the whole package. When it came to homeless projects that I was involved with, Marilyn Goldstone was the first to help- and to be quite frank took over! She was the best and I am grateful that a woman of very modest means is remembered for her great works. That is what it is all about. We are all in this together. Happy Thanksgiving all. 🙂

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  3. Lennie…I know that I didn’t say what I meant to say earlier.
    Thanksgiving and Christmas – and maybe Easter – are the times when giving to those who need is thrust into the spotlight. And while it’s good to shine the light on giving to those who need help, in fact ,doing so goes on year round in Bridgeport and in places far beyond Bridgeport. I know of a group of women locally (including a 93 year old whom I’m told has difficulty seeing and arthritic fingers who knits “exquisite preemie hats” for premature newborns) make baby afghans and hats for newborns and lapghans for wheelchair bound veterans. these women donate their items to where ever else their items are needed. these women are involved with donations of time and talent….knowing all the while that their only recognition is the satisfaction that they’ve helped someone somewhere all through the year….and not just now

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  4. Lennie, I guess Lisa is saying doing good is its own reward and Lisa Lennie is saying we thank you for your legacy of giving and it’s still in the hearts and minds of Bridgeport.
    Anyway, HAPPY THANKSGIVING OIB, posters and readers. 🦃🦃

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