A local couple is carrying on a tradition of giving in honor of their beloved friend.
They are calling it JacksGiving and it will help feed families in need on Thanksgiving.
“Jack had a definite way of finding of finding a silver lining in a dark cloud,” said JacksGiving Organizer Julia Slade. “He really did.”
Jack Bocchino was a local photographer known for promoting music in Central New York. In 2019, he won a Sammy award named in his honor, the “Spirit of the Sammys.” A little more than a year later, Jack passed away after a long battle with cancer.
“He wasn’t one to whine or complain, but he did share,” said JacksGiving Organizer Mark Macrei. “He handled this with grace really anyone could admire.”
Friends Julia Slade and Mark Macrei describe Jack as a generous person. They say several years ago, Jack’s mother fell ill around the holidays.
Wanting to make the holidays something special for other in tough situations, Jack started a tradition of his own.
“He went home and found a family that was in need, made the dinner and delivered to them," Slade said. "Every year since 2014, Jack has done this. No questions asked, nothing in return. He would make meals every year and deliver them."
That wasn’t the only way Jack gave back. He was a knight commander with the St Baldrick’s Foundation, raising money to help fight childhood cancer for more than 10 years. Jack also did work with In My Father’s Kitchen, helping the homeless.
“I’m even a recipient. He would bring a soup care package for one of my gigs with pasta and the whole nine yards for me to go home and prepare myself," Macrei said. "Jack was all about food is love. We’re just going to take it to a different level in honor of him."
Now friends and family are asking the community to give back to Jack. Last month Julia and Mark started a fundraiser called JacksGiving. The money is going towards making meals for families in need. So far, they’ve raised more than $6,000, surpassing their goal of $5,000.
“Jack has always been loved and respected. He’s been involved in the very much in music community around here and especially, and the photography community. It’s been inspiring,” said Slade.
They plan to put together baskets with thanksgiving staples to be distributed before the holiday. Other proceeds will go towards the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and In My Fathers Kitchen.
“Jack's relationship is mutual with the love he had for Central New York and the artists and musicians was given right back to him,” said Macrei.
This Sunday, there will be a live-streaming concert on Subcat Studios from 4-7 p.m. on their Facebook page, as another tribute to Jack.
Also this weekend, on Saturday, Vinomania at 314 Pearl Street in Syracuse will host a fundraiser from 2-5 p.m. for JacksGiving.
The food baskets will be handed out on November 22 at 1 p.m. at 443 Burnet Ave in Syracuse.