HAMPDEN, Mass. (WWLP) – During the past nine years since purchasing Gio’s Pizzeria, owner Gio Cirillo has donated thousands of dollars from chicken wing sales to the Mental Health Association.
Cirillo told 22News, he just wants to help people suffering from mental illness, such as a promising author he met years ago.
“He had a mental disability, he struggled on a daily basis socializing, all that stuff. He struggled to become a writer, he published a few books. Well, when it came up to help the Mental Health Association I did it,” said Cirillo.
Cirillo hopes to donate thousands of dollars from chicken wing sales during the playoffs and Superbowl Sunday.
His customers know of Cirillo’s philanthropy over the years.
Although no one in his family has ever suffered from mental illness, he feels for people whose lives are diminished by such disability.
“It’s depression, it’s anxiety on an everyday basis so to make it able to talk about it and see a doctor, so this is a great cause,” he said.
As long as chicken wings remain the comfort food of choice at NFL playoff and Super Bowl parties in Eastern Hampden County and Northern Connecticut, the Mental Health Association will receive 50 percent of Gio’s chicken wing proceeds.