A Go Fund Me project started by Mediacom Communications chairman and CEO Rocco Commisso to help hospitals in Florence, Italy buy needed medical equipment and supplies to fight COVID-19, has surpassed its goal and continues to raise money to help that area.
Commisso, who also owns Florence soccer team ACF Fiorentina, started the Go Fund Me (Forza e Cuore, or “Strength and Heart) on March 17 to help hospitals in and around the Florence area to buy needed supplies. Italy has been hit hard by the coronavirus, with more than 59,000 cases and nearly 5,500 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Forza e Cuore had set a goal of raising €500,000 for the hospitals, but surpassed that goal less than 72 hours after it began. In an interview Friday (March 20), Commisso said he would keep the fundraiser going as long as possible to help the area. As of Monday, March 23, the effort has raised €547,482 ($591,833) from 1,600 donors, according to the Go Fund Me site.
In a statement Monday, Commisso and ACF Fiorentina said the fundraising effort will continue for as long as hospitals need help, equipment and economic assistance to fight the virus.
“Our hope is that as many people as possible continue to donate – because we’ll only win this battle if we stay together!,” Commisso and the team said in the statement. “Our hope is that as many people as possible continue to donate – because we’ll only win this battle if we stay together!”
In an interview, Commisso said that many donors to Forza e Cuore have been American companies both inside and outside of the cable industry.
“I want to thank those people in America within the industry and outside the industry doing their best by whatever means and whatever way necessary to help the people of Italy and specifically the people of Florence,” Commisso said.