Niagara Gazette — Peter Castiglione is quiet. He’s a quiet father to his children and grandchildren and a quiet husband to his wife, Eleanor. He often turns his television on, sits on his chair and catches up on the local and national news without ever opening his mouth.
But for one day a week three months every year, the 85-and-a-half-year-old Lewiston resident leaves his personality on the chair while he heads to the entryway of Artpark in the name of charity. And the nuns who run the Heart & Soul Food Pantry are all the more happy.
“This is the one thing he just loves to do,” his daughter, Jane Killewald, said. “This takes him out of himself and allows him to contribute to others.”
Everyone around him says he’s a different kind of person on Tuesday Artpark concert nights, when he collects money from visiting attendees for the Falls pantry. It’s like a transformation.
Not only for himself, though. Everyone around him tends to brighten up just with his presence. whether it’s the little children coming down the hill, excited just to attend the shows, or the volunteers collecting right alongside him, the mood is exponentially brighter.
A couple years ago, the outlook wasn’t as sunny for Castiglione nor his collection cup. Following a back surgery, he was unable to collect at all in 2011. The situation left him a little less spry, a little more gray.
But he was able to recover enough to return in 2012 and again in 2013. And Sister Beth Bosmer, who runs Heart & Soul, which Castiglione’s generosity benefits, said their “main man” said he’s a star.
“Telling everyone, ‘A dollar goes a long way,’ he’s a special star during the concert evenings,” she said before honoring Castiglione for his service recently. “In fact, many of the ladies will only give a donation if they can give it to Pete, who usually collects lots of hugs as well. There is only one Pete and we are so grateful he belongs to Heart & Soul.”