Marenna Amusements is ‘1st-responder’ with carnival benefit
WEST HAVEN >> Mayor Ed O’Brien put out a 911 call of sorts to hold a fundraiser for injured police Officer Michael Doyle, 34, as well as the West Haven Emergency Assistance Task Force.
And Marenna Amusements, an Orange carnival company, has come to the rescue.
Marenna’s carnival to benefit Doyle and WHEAT will be held Thursday-Sunday, July 21-24, near the Boardwalk beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, with hours for Saturday and Sunday to be announced.
“Anything for the police officers,” said company owner George Marenna Jr.
The Police Department is also selling T-shirts to help Doyle, and O’Brien said he’ll allow all city employees to wear them to work Friday.
The T-shirts say “Officer Doyle,” and “Signal 20,” which mean “Officer needs assistance.”
“THEY NEVER SAY ‘NO’”
O’Brien said he got the idea for a fundraiser last week after a police-escorted ambulance brought Doyle, injured in an out-of-state motorcycle accident, to Gaylord Specialty Healthcare in Wallingford for rehabilitation.
“I thought, ‘How as a city can we give back and raise funds for the family?’” O’Brien said.
O’Brien said he didn’t have to go far for an answer. He called Marenna, and within 24 hours Marenna and his son, George Marenna III, operations manager, had rearranged their fully booked schedule, including an out-of-state carnival this weekend, and began moving the Ferris wheel, Cliffhanger, Ali Baba and games to the West Haven shore.
“Marenna has always been a generous company that gives back to the community. … They never say ‘No,’” O’Brien said.
The company is even picking up the cost of the extra-duty police officers. O’Brien said rearranging a schedule at the height of the season is “something a lot of companies wouldn’t have done.”
SIGNS OF RECOVERY
Doyle continues to show signs of recovery. He was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash during a training class organized by the Yonkers, N.Y., Police Department. He was riding on the Taconic State Parkway with about 25 motorcycles when the accident happened, police spokesman Sgt. Dave Tammaro has said. He was initially treated for two weeks at the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, N.Y.
O’Brien said although Doyle has health insurance, there are many co-pays and expenses associated with his family visiting Gaylord, including his wife who has missed a lot of time from work. The accident has put a tremendous financial burden on the family, O’Brien said.
‘people really care’
Detective Sean Faughnan, police union president, said Doyle’s spirits are buoyed by everything people are doing on his behalf. He said Doyle is making progress and receiving phenomenal care as well as a steady stream of police visitors.
The community’s rallying around Doyle’s cause has been overwhelming and makes all the officers feel happy to see how much the community cares about him and them, Faughnan said.
“You don’t realize how good a community is until tragedy happens,” Faughnan said. “It goes a long way to see people really care.”
Faughnan said the Marennas are “great people,” and what they are doing for West Haven and Doyle is “phenomenal.”
Of Doyle, Faughnan said, “Everybody loves him. He’s quick with a joke, but he does his job.”
WHEAT is also in need of donations, as the demand is higher in summer when many children who usually eat breakfast and/or lunch in school must rely on being fed those meals at home, O’Brien said.