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Wise beyond his years

  • @\:ch value\=\"226 128 156\"/= @Normal=[S"","Normal","Normal"] @Caption Photo Credit=[S"","Caption Photo Credit"] @Caption=[S"","Caption"] SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Dominic "Nick" Banditelli of Owl Creek (holding marshmallows), asked his friends for…
    @\:ch value\=\"226 128 156\"/= @Normal=[S"","Normal","Normal"] @Caption Photo Credit=[S"","Caption Photo Credit"] @Caption=[S"","Caption"] SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Dominic "Nick" Banditelli of Owl Creek (holding marshmallows), asked his friends for non-perishable food items instead of the traditional birthday gifts this year.
Published October 26. 2009 05:00PM

When boys plan to celebrate their eighth birthdays, their usual concerns are the number of toys they can add to their collection, the cake, playing with their friends, and, of course, more cake.

Little boys excuse me young men, are expected to be carefree and just a tiny bit self-centered. But stereotypes are meant to be broken.

Meet Dominic Banditelli of Owl Creek Road, Tamaqua. Dominic celebrated his eighth birthday on Sept. 19, although his actual birth date is Sept. 22.

Party plans included an afternoon swim, weather permitting; the requisite cake; and, of course, gifts, but with a twist.

Nick, as he is known to family and friends, planned the ultimate re-gifting scenario with the help of his mom and dad, Roxanne and Tom Banditelli.

Instead of presents for the birthday celebrant, party-goers were asked to bring a nonperishable food item.

Now, what was an 8-year-old boy going to do with nonperishable food?

Nick planned his birthday with the less fortunate in mind. His "gifts" were going to be donated to the Salvation Army's Food Bank.

OK, the idea of giving up toys for food wasn't initially Nick's.

But once his mother explained how other families weren't as lucky as theirs when it comes to material goods, the young man immediately saw the need to help others.

He couldn't wait to see how many gifts his friends would bring.

The weather cooperated fully, providing party attendees with the last opportunity of the season for a relaxing swim in the family pool.

Well, not quite relaxing as 8-year-olds and their friends are bundles of energy.

After the party, Nick couldn't wait to travel to the Tamaqua Salvation Army. He and his brother, Jacob, 10, turned in a shopping cart filled with food items in October.

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