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Torrington rallies around the Pestritto Family.

POSTED December 19, 2015
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: As he looked around the track at Torrington High School, Raider sophomore Jacob Pestritto had to be astounded by the support he saw all around him.

The Pestritto family had the terrible misfortune of losing their home in a fire two weeks ago.

Terrible any time of the year, seems a little crueler around the Christmas season but on Friday afternoon inside the Robert H. Frost Complex, the tenth grader experienced what other before him had; support.

In an effort that sprang up just days ago, members of the fall and winter sports teams and friends gathered to take a few laps around the track, donate money and maybe lift the family’s collective soul just a little bit.

No injuries occurred as a result of the fire but fire is a wicked beast, destroying memories and leaving those effected shaken to their core.

Once word of the fire made its way to the high school community, that community sprang into action without hesitation.

“This is about a school coming together,” Torrington Athletic Director Mike McKenna said, “When one of our own is facing adversity, they come together and do what’s right. We have great kids at Torrington, we have great teachers.”

Within days, money, clothing, food and emotional support was flowing towards a family that hadn’t counted on being in this position a month ago.

To further the efforts, a GoFundMe page has been set up so that additional funding can be secured.

If you are looking to help, go to and donate.

Donations were accepted at the track and student after student stopped by to give whatever they could before hitting the track.

Christmas carols played over the loud speaker system in the press box, making for one festive afternoon.

It’s what I have seen time and time again in this city. When somebody is hurting and in need, help is just around the corner.

Pestritto, who is a member of the boys soccer team, was out on the field doing what any kid his age should be doing. Hanging out with his buddies playing a sport they love.

There is a security built into being part of a team, being part of a community.

McKenna summed it up.

“This is what we do.”

The Pestritto is the latest fortunate family to find out just how big a heart the citizens of Torrington have and they never have to be asked twice to take care of one of their own.

NOTE: Special thanks to Target, Walmart, THS Administrators, Mike McKenna, RJ, Michelle Cook, THS Winter Coaches, The CNC committee at THS, The THS Teachers, JROTC at THS, Coach Mike Fritch Jr, Coach Mario Longobucco, Mr. Peter Trombley, The THS Soccer Families, Family Resource Center of Education Connection, and the Torrington Youth Service Bureau.     

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