In December 2004, John DeFazio, who has Multiple Sclerosis, fell at home and fractured/dislocated his shoulder. Thankfully, Shapleigh, his NEADS service dog, was able to get him the phone. John called for an ambulance, and help arrived. But, John hasn't walked or driven since. These last months John has been somewhat housebound. And so has Shapleigh...

A handicap van with hand controls COULD give John some of his independence back. However, these vans are very expensive. A good used van, with a good warrantee left on the conversion (with the floor lowered 10" with power doors & power ramp with kneel) costs $35,900. A brand new one: $46,900!

John sold his 1994 Oldsmobile and now has $2,000 in the van fund. But, there is still so much further to go. With YOUR help this dream could become a reality by the Fall!

If you are unable to attend the September 1st Fundraiser at Lombardi's 1025 Club with MIXED NUTS™ and other local celebrities but you would still like to help, please donate to:

"The Driving Miss Shapleigh Fund"
c/o Citizens Bank
1090 Charles Street
North Providence, RI 02904

Donations are tax deductible

CRANSTON HERALD, Cranston, RI - 07/21/2005

Cranston man looking for way to 'Drive Miss Shapleigh'

By Megan Fraser

Read the article

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

ms connection, Quarterly Publication of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Rhode Island Chapter - SUMMER 2005

MS Dog Wins Emmy!!

Kathy Mechnig, Chapter President
Emily Murphy, Development Director
Stephanie Mattera, Development Coordinator

Read the article

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, Providence, RI - 08/10/2005

A friend who answered the call

By Daniel Barbarisi
Journal Staff Writer

Read the article

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

KENT COUNTY DAILY TIMES, West Warwick, RI - 08/17/2005

Restaurant owner deals with MS

By Jessica Carr

Read the article

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

MS Patient John DeFazio Fundraiser
"Driving Miss Shapleigh" Fund

The John DeFazio Fundraiser to benefit the "Driving Miss Shapleigh" Fund will be held at Lombardi's 1025 Club, Plainfield Street, Johnston. (401) 944-1025.


Lombardi's 1025 Club serves dinner, Mixed Nuts: an interactive cabaret serves the laughs. Also scheduled to appear - Live music with Brad Griffing - Guest Auctioneer, Tony Petrarca from Eyewitness News - and Special Guest, Emmy-Award Winning Miss Shapleigh.

6:00 pm Arrival - Dinner at 6:30 pm. Advanced tickets ONLY. Donation $35.00. All proceeds will go towards the purchase of a handicap accessible van. For tickets please call (401) 946-4248 or (401) 943-6505 or E-mail Marie at mdefazio@juno.com

Click the event poster to view online.
If you would like to help by displaying an 8.5" x 11" poster for the event in your business window or at your office please click here to download the poster PDF.

If you are unable to print please contact us and we will send you posters to display.

You will need Adobe ® Acrobat ® Reader to view pdf files.
Click on the following icon to get Acrobat ® Reader free of charge from Adobe ®.

We will also be producing an ad book program for this event to be distributed at the event on Sept 1.

Click the Program Advertisement Sheet to view online.
If you would like to place an ad in the program book from your family or business please click here to download the sponsor sheet PDF then E-mail Marie at mdefazio@juno.com


The Driving Miss Shapleigh benefit dinner at Lombardi's 1025 Club in Johnston on September 1st was a HUGE success! We want to thank everyone who attended the event, and everyone who couldn't attend, but donated anyway. Your generosity and kindness are overwhelming!

Mike Marra, and Acts of Kindness, Inc. stepped up to the plate, when no one else would, to sponsor the Driving Miss Shapleigh campaign. Without this wonderful organization, we could not have launched this very important project. We are forever grateful to Acts of Kindness, Inc. We encourage everyone to go to www.a-o-k.org, to learn more about Acts of Kindness, Inc. and to find out what YOU can do to help this fine organization do their good work.

We knew our friend, Brad Griffing, was a talented musician and songwriter, and we were delighted when he agreed to play at our dinner. Brad, you rock! Thank you again for all your help!

Deep heartfelt thanks go to Mixed Nuts, an interactive cabaret. You are all SO gifted!! Thank you, Mark Colozzi, Katie Estrella, Kim Frenze, and Kevin Sullivan, for sharing your gift of comedy and song with our 352 guests that evening. You are one talented group! You helped make September 1st an unforgettable evening for our guests!

Very special thanks go to Kevin Sullivan (of Mixed Nuts: an interactive cabaret) who was responsible for all the artwork of our Driving Miss Shapleigh campaign. Kevin worked diligently on our flyers, advertising sheets, and he took our ad book to a whole new level! Kevin also gave John and Shapleigh a personal page on his website www.mixednutscabaret.com (and we didn't even ask!) He spent hours, too numerous to mention, updating the page and making everything look sleek and sharp. Kevin, you are one talented art director! And we are SO honored to have you as our friend!

Speaking of friends: Jim Pereira is worth his weight in gold! Jim put in so many hours doing SO many things for the campaign! He made tickets, DVDs, labels, scanned artwork, and lent us his organizational skills for the duration of the campaign. What would we have done without Jim Pereira and Kevin Sullivan?!!?? (Thank goodness we don't have to know!)

Tony Petrarca did a fabulous job running the live auction and silent auction, and TJ DelSanto was wonderful at giving away our raffle prizes. We are so grateful to you for coming to the dinner and lending a hand!

Bayo Dina is a brand new friend who came to videotape and document the Driving Miss Shapleigh benefit dinner for us. We hope everyone will e-mail Bayo at ttppproductions@cox.net to book him for their special event!

My sister-in-law, Deb Sachs, came up from Virginia to give hands-on help for the dinner. And she was able to recruit Beth and Jake Jacobs. You guys really came through for us. Thank you SO much!

NEADS, National Education for Assistance Dog Services www.neads.org, not only trained Shapleigh and placed her with John, but NEADS continues to be supportive and active in our lives. We are so grateful to all of you for your friendship!

Thank you Lombardi's 1025 Club, (especially Steve Lombardi and Ann Marie Rathbun), who made sure our guests were comfortable, and had a good time. The food was delicious! We would recommend Lombardi's 1025 Club as the venue for any special event! (401) 944-1025

Many, MANY thanks for bringing us closer to our goal of buying a handicap-accessible van for John and Shapleigh. Thanks to your generosity, John's dream of Driving Miss Shapleigh WILL become a reality.


John, Marie & Shapleigh DeFazio




From the cast of Mixed Nuts™ we sincerely Thank You for your time, interest, and assistance in helping John.

If you would like more information on how Mixed Nuts™ can assist you with your fundraising needs - please contact us today.

Call Kevin at 944-9911
or send us an email.