UTICA/ROME -- We're sad to report former (we're talking decades ago) Utica radio personality and programmer Don DeRosa was recently diagnosed with cancer. Friends of DeRosa -- also known to some by the nicknames "Polka Stoney" or "Donnie D" -- are organizing a benefit to help defray the costs of DeRosa's medical treatments. It's happening on June 19th in Syracuse. Updated 8:30am with more info on DeRosa's career.
Word of the benefit comes from former WRUN personality Jeff Moulton, who points out Don was known as "Emperor" DeRosa duing his several years as morning host of WTLB. DeRosa also served as the station's PD for many years. His career also included time at WRUN, WSNY and Albany's WPTR.
Added 8:30am - Thanks to the CNYRadio.com reader who reminded us Don DeRosa also has a history with the Fulton-based AM station at 1300 on the dial. In the early 1980s, DeRosa was GM of the WOSC, along with the former "Magic 104.7" when it was known as WKFM. In 2002, he returned to Fulton and bought the AM station from Peter Hunn, flipping the call letters from WZZZ to WAMF. Since then, WAMF has been sold to Craig Fox's Cram Communications and it relays Radio Disney programming. (Our tipster also reminded us to repost the original CNYRadio.com article from 2002 in our archives.)
The benefit will be taking place from 1-8pm on June 19th at the Polish Home at 915 Park Avenue in Syracuse (yes, Avenue, not to be confused with Park Street).
A flyer for the event says "Stoney is a great man of character and would do anything for anybody. Let's get together and help him with his mounting expenses." Admission is $15 per person, and additional donations are welcomed. The event will feature live music from "America's Polka Sweetheart Stephanie" and Polka Hall-of-Famer Al Piakowski. DJs John Carucci and Gary Dunes from Syracuse's Classic Hits 92.1 (WSEN-FM) will keep the music flowing between the live performances.
Ticket payments and other donations can be sent to Don DeRosa's daughter, with checks made out to "Polka Stoney Benefit."
c/o Polka Stoney Benefit
PO Box 1994
Cicero, NY 13039
If you have any questions or need more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (315)720-3616.