Tattoo, fundraiser a memorial to his friend
By Jesse Buchanan, Record-Journal staff
WALLINGFORD - C.J. Carrozzella and Sean Pasciolla became friends through their mutual pursuits of skateboarding and break-dancing. After Carrozzella died in a car accident in 2003 at age 17, Pasciolla wanted to keep his memory alive.
Pasciolla, who opened Gasoline Alley Tattoo on Quinnipiac Street last year, had taken some pictures of C.J. break-dancing.
"I turned them into silhouettes and put them on my arm," he said.
Pasciolla said he may not golf at the annual Spirit of CJ Foundation's golf tournament fundraiser, but attending is another way to keep C.J.'s memory alive.
The Spirit of CJ Foundation's golf tournament will take place May 15 at the Tradition Golf Course. It's the fifth year of the tournament, which costs $150 for lunch, 18 holes of golf and dinner. The proceeds go to activities that Carrozzella participated in or was affected by, such as the Wallingford Junior Football League and the Wallingford YMCA Strong Kids campaign.
"It's great that it benefits the things he loved," Pasciolla said. The fundraiser also gives him a chance to catch up with old friends.
"It's nice to see everyone that you don't necessarily see every time and celebrate the things he loved."
The foundation was begun by C.J.'s father, Chris Carrozzella, in 2004. The past four tournaments have raised about $50,000 in total, according to Carrozzella.
"This year we're hoping to carry on what we've done in the past," he said.
The golf tournament will be followed by a dinner, raffles and an auction that will include at least two tickets to a Yankees game in their new stadium, and Carrozzella wants to get more.
The foundation has contributed about $10,000 to the Wallingford Public Library expansion and has also benefited the Wallingford Little League and Wallingford Project Graduation.
Carrozzella is hoping for better weather than last year's tournament when, despite 35-degree temperatures and drizzle, 108 golfers still showed up.
"The weather hasn't cooperated with us too well in the past years," he said. "(But) we get a good crowd ... You still have those golfer types."
Carrozzella doesn't expect the economy to affect turnout materially.
"It's one day to get out and have a good time and forget what's going on in the world," he said.
The foundation has benefited performing arts organizations to honor C.J.'s break-dancing aspirations. Each year a $50 to $100 scholarship is given to a promising arts student from Xavier High School in Middletown.
"They have some talented kids," Carrozzella said. C.J. attended Xavier for three years.
Ten days before C.J.'s car accident, he and his father visited dance schools in New York City. While there, C.J. was more interested in watching amateur break-dancers than visiting the tourist sites.
"I would take him to New York City in the subway and watch people break-dance," Chris Carrozzella said. C.J.'s plan was to attend a dance school in New York or California.
"It didn't happen," Chris Carrozzella said.