Mediacom Communications chairman and CEO Rocco Commisso, along with his soccer club ACF Fiorentina, have started a Go Fund Me project to help hospitals struggling to battle the coronavirus in areas in and around the team’s home of Florence, Italy, with his family personally donating €250,000 (about $270,000) to kickstart the effort.
Commisso purchased ACF Fiorentina in June.The team, known as The Viola because of the purple jerseys team members wear, launched “Forza E Cuore” (Strength and Heart) on Go Fund Me earlier this week with a goal of raising €500,000 (about $543,000).
So far the GoFundMe project has raised €363,761 euros ($395,000), according to the site.
“I’ve been following the situation in Italy very closely and with a great degree of worry in recent days, albeit from afar,” Commisso said in a press release. “I want to offer my support, my family’s support and that of the club and all our friends to all those who are doing everything they can to save lives and stop the spread of this invisible and insidious enemy as quickly as possible. I would like to invite the extended Viola Family to come together even more in this difficult time and support the people and organizations fighting on the front line. I want to say a special thank you to the doctors, nurses and hospital staff that are currently fighting the toughest of battles in Tuscany.”
According to the team website, funds raised will be donated to the Careggi Foundation and the Santa Maria Nuova Onlus Foundation, whose mission is to financially support the main hospitals of the city of Florence.
“We thank president Commisso, his family and everyone at Fiorentina for this precious donation,” said Careggi Foundation director general Rocco Damone in a press release. “We are working to use the funds to purchase personal protection equipment for operators. The donation has happened quickly and it’s something that we need immediately in order to provide more essential equipment to protect the doctors and nurses responsible for treating patients affected by coronavirus. On behalf of the entire Careggi community, I want to say thank you to the Commisso family.”
The funds will go toward providing essential medical supplies and equipment – including masks, surgical clothing, hand sanitizer, infrared laser thermometers, virus testing kits and ventilators – for hospitals in the Florence area. .
“I want to say a sincere thank you to the Commisso family and the Viola Family for this important donation, which we see as a gesture of solidarity and support at a time when our professionals are working across our healthcare facilities on a daily basis,” said Santa Maria Nuova Onlus Foundation president Giancarlo Landini in a press release. “The Santa Maria Nuova Onlus Foundation has worked quickly to process initiatives like this one so that they can be as useful as possible in tackling this health emergency.”
Italy has been hit hard by the coronavirus, with more than 31,000 cases and 2,500 deaths since the outbreak began. Italian hospitals have been overwhelmed by a surge of patients with the virus that have strained the nation’s healthcare system.