For the past three years, this Bay Shore native has knocked on hundreds of doors to help raise money for an ailing childhood friend.
The walk is one way Nicholas Pappanicholas is able to spread the word about the annual fundraiser he holds for his lifelong buddy Andy Loughlin, who suffered a brain stem stroke in 2016.
Loughlin, a 1979 Bay Shore High School graduate who now lives in California, is mostly bedridden and is in need of money to afford health expenses.
“It’s to keep him home with his family,” said Pappanicholas. “If the state had to intervene they could send him to a facility three hours away from his family.”
So, from July to August, Pappanicholas, along with his mother, visits homes across the South Shore from Babylon to Islip spreading the news of the annual Andy Loughlin Fundraiser.
“Many people give cash donations or gift cards,” said Pappanicholas. “It is truly amazing.” During the last two years, the fundraiser was held at the Jon Thomas Inne during its Oktoberfest and has raised nearly $25,000.
This year’s event will be a little different; a dear friend has stepped up.
So on Saturday, Oct. 6, anyone can head to 54 Arnold Avenue in West Babylon from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. There will be music, food, and raffles, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Loughlin family. Admission is $20 for adults and $5 for 12 and under.
The two met back at Mary G. Clarkson Elementary School back in the late 60s, and would later forge an unbreakable relationship.
“After high school, his father passed away,” said Pappanicholas. “His family went through a hard time and we became really close.”
Pappanicholas went on to help out the Loughlin’s family carpet cleaning business.
And even though Loughlin moved across the states, their friendship remained strong.
“Even though we are miles apart it never diminished the fact that we could always pick up a great conversation,” said Pappannicholas. “It’s an incredible bond.”
Top: (L-R) Nick with Andy back in 1987. (courtesy photo)