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Michael Minutoli sets goal of $5,000 for Greet-A-Thon fundraiser for Live for Others today and tomorrow

Michael Minutoli, Laguna’s Greeter, is a man with a mission. For the last three years, he has held a 24-hour Greet-A-Thon fundraiser in memory of Timothy Vorenkamp, a young man who passed away from a rare cancer, synovial cell carcinoma, three years ago at the young age of 18.

The Live For Others Foundation (L4OF) was established in December 2015 by Tim Vorenkamp and is dedicated to finding a cure for synovial sarcoma, a very rare form of soft-tissue cancer diagnosed primarily in teenagers and young adults.

The fourth 24-hour Greet-A-Thon fundraiser started today at 7 a.m. and continues until 7 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday, March 30.

In the first year, Minutoli raised $1,100; in 2017, he raised $1,400; and last year, he raised $3,300 ($2,700 in person and $500 online).

This year, Minutoli has set a new goal of $5,000 and to this end, he says, “This year, I’m going to do some footwork by going out and circulating among the businesses in town for donations on the spot or asking them to donate through the website.”

Michael Minutoli fundraiser

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Submitted photo

Fourth Annual 24-hour Greet-A-Thon Fundraiser on Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30

And he has an added incentive in mind: “It would be great if people could stop by and get a photo with the Greeter.” He says that Tim’s college friends come by from 12 a.m. to 2 a.m. to keep him company.

Before he passed away, Tim had already generated $50,000 for Make A Wish and his own Live for Others Foundation. One item on his final wish list was to have lunch with Michael, the Greeter, because he wanted to know “what made him tick” and admired his positive, optimistic spirit.

Unfortunately, that meeting was never to be.

But hearing of Tim’s wish, Minutoli was determined to do something practical to honor Tim’s memory – thus the Greet-A-Thon.

Petra Vorenkamp, Tim’s mother, noted on social media last year what a blessing it was that Michael, a man without a bed or a home, was willing to give up 24 hours to help her son’s dream come true. 

Michael Minutoli statue

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Have your picture taken with the Greeter and donate to Live for Others

She told Stu News that Michael absolutely refuses to accept any of the money he raises. “He won’t even let me give him $10,” she says. “He’s a very special person, we love him, and we are more than grateful to him for doing this.”

People can continue to donate through the Live For Others Foundation website at http://l4of.org. All donations to the Live for Others Foundation are used to fund research to find a cure for synovial sarcoma and other rare pediatric diseases. Donations are also used to help patients and families in need while fighting this disease. L4OF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization registered under the Orange County Community Foundation.

The Foundation also has a project called “Tim’s Room,” which aims to help families create loving and comfortable spaces within their homes for their young adults needing hospice and palliative care support, like Tim had in his Oak Street home. The foundation provides design and resources that will maximize comfort, quality of life, clinical care, and family interaction during this crucial stage of the journey.

For more information on Live for Others, go to http://l4of.org.