Bella Luna Brick Oven Pizzeria and Restaurant hosted a fundraiser for the Nanuet Cross Country team last Thursday in Nanuet. The money raised will be used by the team to pay for a bus to Six Flags Wild Safari in New Jersey, where the team has a meet on Sept. 24.
“There’s a meet at Six Flags through the Safari with teams from Connecticut, New Jersey and New York,” said Sheri Dempsey, the Nanuet Cross Country coach. “And because it’s an overnight trip, we need to pay for the bus for it and the charter buses are expensive. So we’re raising money to offset the cost of the bus.”
Bella Luna owner Rob Krasniqi said 10 percent of the money made from dinner will go to the Cross Country team. Krasniqi, who played basketball and football when he went to school in Nanuet, said he took part in the fundraising effort to support the community.
“I just took over this place about two weeks ago,” he said. “I’m a Nanuet alumni; my kids go to Nanuet schools. When this was brought to my attention, I said yeah, I would love to be able to help out my community and them to know that I’m also here. So it works out for both sides.”
The team ate dinner at Bella Luna Thursday.
“This is a new pizza place—we’re trying to support them, and they’re helping to support us,” Dempsey said.
The team attended the Six Flags Wild Safari meet last year, Dempsey said. Megan Young, a Nanuet Cross Country runner, described her prior experience with the meet.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Young said. “You pretty much run through the safari. The animals are caged in, but it’s still cool to run through it. And we get to go to the park after. So we go up the day before and stay over at a hotel because we race really early in the morning.”
The team’s first meet is this Tuesday.
Krasniqi said he would like to do similar activities to get involved in the community.
“I’m looking forward to doing all the events, like yearbook committee, basketball, football,” he said. “All those things, I’m going to make sure that I support in every way.”