‘A Game for Gus’ was a sincere success
WESTPORT — Augustus ‘Gus’ Cardello wasn’t the type of person who sought out attention.
The 19-year-old, 2017 Staples High graduate and Providence College sophomore was humble but was known for trying to put a smile on the faces of those who knew him best.
“Gus was always the one who made us laugh,” said his mother Michelle. “We knew he was an empathetic person and after he passed, a lot of people came forward, a lot of his peers we may not have known from Providence and Staples, telling us story after story about when they were having a hard time that he would be the one to notice and give them that extra attention they needed. He always made everybody feel great and that was truly the way he was.”
Added his father Joe: “He was very quiet about it. We never knew the amount of people that he touched and he would’ve never told us about it.”
Gus, who passed away suddenly in October, was given a great deal of attention this past Saturday when he was celebrated in ‘A Game for Gus,’ which was a fundraiser game in his honor between the Staples girls varsity lacrosse team against Fairfield Warde in front of several hundred people at Ginny Parker Field.
Gus played lacrosse at the school and several of his friends, including seniors and captains Samantha Pacilio, Elle Fair and Alexa Myzel in addition to Gus’ sister Isabella ‘Izzy,’ are members of the girls team and were instrumental in raising funds for this special occasion.
“This game meant a lot to me, just to know that we have so much love and support from the Staples community with all these fans who came out plus the Warde team was amazing,” said Izzy, whose team beat the Mustangs 15-7. “I’m really grateful to have everyone helping out with this.”
Izzy added that her brother would’ve felt quite popular and he would’ve gotten a kick out of hearing his name announced at the game.
Samantha Pacilio, plus her mother Ann-Marie, who spearheaded the event, came up with the idea to sell bracelets and socks with the proceeds going to benefit the Augustus G. Cardello Memorial Scholarship Fund, which provides name scholarships through Staples tuition grants for students at Staples and Providence College. The girls lacrosse program sold the bracelets and socks during lunches and after school, in addition to selling them on game day.
“My mom and I put together the idea starting a couple weeks ago,” Samantha said. “We thought it would be awesome to get everyone involved so we started selling them in school and made a big profit off it which is awesome.”
Also, the Barbeque Club at Staples sold burgers and hot dogs during the game and Cate Bakes sold baked goods with the money raised from those ventures going to the scholarship fund.
Ann-Marie was grateful to Staples girls lacrosse coach Nicole Gerosa, her varsity captains and the entire team and managers, A to Z Signs out of Norwalk, the Staples High BBQ Club, Cate Bakes and all the fans who came out to support ‘A Game for Gus.’
She also said the Cardello’s were touched by the Staples community’s efforts and their oldest son was quite unforgettable.
“Gus was a big brother to all the girls and he treated them like they were his sisters,” Ann-Marie said. “He was such a humble young man but he’d be smiling from ear to ear and I feel in my heart of hearts he sent us this beautiful day.”
Providence College also held its own fundraiser ‘Game for Gus’ in February when the PC men’s basketball team hosted Xavier at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Joe Cardello wanted to stress one thing: how much his family, Michelle, Izzy and younger son Christopher especially, appreciated the overflowing support from the Staples and Providence College communities.
“The most important thing to say to everybody is thank you for all the thoughts, the prayers and the support,” he said.
To contribute to the Gus Cardello scholarship fund, go to guscardello.com.