To the editor:
The children of Camp Good Days, St. John Fisher College, the Basilian Fathers, and I, personally, lost someone very special with the passing of Father Joe Lanzalaco.
I had the pleasure of meeting Father Joe and knowing him since he came to St. John Fisher College in 2001, where I coached the kickers on the football team. He was someone, who, as the director of campus ministry, became very close with all of the athletic programs, and football in particular. Father Joe would come to as many games as he could, even if it meant driving separately to our away games.
Father Joe would always lead the team in a pre-game prayer and truly had a way of connecting with the players, and I would lead the post-game prayer. Father Joe and I had an inside joke that we made a good duo, and that we wouldn’t change our routine as long as the team was doing well.
The place I, along with the St. John Fisher College community, will miss him the most, will be at the Annual Teddi Dance for Love, which is the longest-standing tradition at Fisher. Father Joe would lead all the participants in a very special "blessing of the feet" prior to the Dance for Love.
Father Joe was an adviser to the President’s Council during the tenure of Dr. Katherine Keough, Dr. Donald Bain, and I’m sure new President Dr. Gerry Rooney was looking forward to his guidance during his span of presidency. Father Joe leaves a big void that will be difficult to replace.
Father Joe would always take time to meet the honorary coaches and honorary cheerleaders during the Courage Bowl. One of my favorite memories of Father Joe was during Courage Bowl VII, when a photographer caught him celebrating a touchdown for Fisher on the sidelines with one of our honorary coaches. His energy and spirit is something that I will miss on the sidelines. He will also be sorely missed at the Courage Bowl Community Luncheon, where he was a staple in our program agenda. He would lead the honorary coaches, cheerleaders, and attendees in an Invocation.
Father Joe believed so thoroughly in the mission of Camp Good Days and was dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and families dealing with cancer. It is too hard to actually believe that he is gone. There are too many memories and stories to share in this forum, but for those of us who had Father Joe in our lives, we now have him in our hearts, along with all of those memories and stories. He will be missed more than he would have ever thought possible, by so many whose lives he touched, in one way or another. For those of us who were fortunate enough to have known him, been friends with him, and worked with him, we will forever be better people for his personality, his strong dedication, and his support.
Chairman and Founder
Camp Good Days & Special Times