The death of Angelo Vayas, longtime Maplewood resident and business owner, in May of 2015 of brain cancer left a huge void in SOMA. The owner of the Village Trattoria restaurants, Vayas was not only a greatly admired merchant but a beloved member of the community who always lent a helping hand to anyone in need.
Now the Vayas family has created the AV Hero Fund to carry on his legacy — and to celebrate his life. The organization seeks to raise awareness of glioblastoma, the disease that took Angelo’s life (some of the proceeds will benefit the Caroline Vandemark Fund at Hackensack University Medical Center), and also will help provide care and financial assistance to local families who are fighting battles of their own.
“We want more people to get more time,” said Mary Vayas, Angelo’s wife.
The fund’s first event will be the AV Hero Fund Golf Outing on Monday, June 13, 2016 at the Maplewood Country Club. Angelo loved to play golf, and as he fought his disease, the activity became a treasured respite and a chance for him to spend precious time with his two brothers and his friends.
As a “tee-off” to the event, the AV Hero Fund will host a special “Bogey Night,” on Thursday, April 21st at 7:00 p.m. at St. James’s Gate in Maplewood. This fun evening will include surprise guest bartenders, and will offer the chance to purchase tickets, sponsorships, and event “swag” including T-shirts and hats.
Guest bartenders are still hush-hush for now, but will include acclaimed local actors, singers, authors, a (hyper)local media personality — and possibly a few major professional athletes. Look for more information coming soon!
The golf event is expected to attract more than 200 people for a full day of eating, mingling and camaraderie. Participants can attend the event itself — to golf, enjoy just dinner, or go for the whole nine yards with a full day of tennis, swimming, golfing, lunch and dinner. Or, get in on one of the sponsorship opportunities available at many different levels. (Drunken Grandma Cart Sponsor, anyone??)
Mary Vayas said this is just the beginning of future events to benefit the community and keep Angelo’s spirit alive. She is grateful for the support she has received to make this dream a reality. “This isn’t just me, it’s the whole town helping.”