VSB Student Looking to #CrushCovid and Give Back to Hometown
In his junior year at Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens, N.Y., Dante Giraldi ’22 VSB assisted on a goal with 15.6 seconds left in double overtime to lift his team to the city championship, capping off an undefeated season. It’s a moment he will remember for the rest of his life. Now, during the global pandemic, he is looking to make a lasting impression on the groups that helped shape who he is today.
Dante has started a fundraiser called #CrushCOVID to support those impacted by coronavirus and pledged to run anywhere between a half marathon (13.1 miles) and a full marathon (26.2 miles) based on how much he raised. Half of the funds will go to support meals and supplies for those on the frontline. The other half will be split between his high school, Archbishop Molloy, and his former soccer club, Blau Weiss Gottschee, to provide financial support to individuals and families affected by COVID-19. As of June 20, he raised more than $7,770, and ran 13.1 miles!
“High school impacted me in terms of what I strive to be and Villanova, and its motto of Ignite Change, ties into that,” Dante said. “I recognized the critical role these groups played in me progressing as a person. I knew I needed to step in and make a difference.”
He also noted that his school and soccer club were filled with a diverse group of families who may not have enough support during this time. Queens is often mentioned as an epicenter of the pandemic and seeing the devastating impact of the virus hit close to home. “You turn on the news and see the number of people infected, and the death toll increase, and it just doesn’t seem real,” he said. “But then teachers and students’ parents from your high school pass away from the virus. It’s real when it hits you. It made its presence known in Queens.”
After completing the half marathon, Dante said, “Just three miles in, I certainly felt the overwhelming 94 degree weather. But the kids in my community who have been impacted and all those who donated were pushing me every step of the way. I was fortunate to have been accompanied by a number of friends who live-streamed my entire run and would provide water and energy snacks through the run – even trailing me by bicycles and car. This was my way to saying ‘thank you’ to everyone who supported #CrushCOVID.”
To donate or learn more about Dante’s #CrushCOVID cause, click here.