Our Lady of Fatima’s Pink Gala — a “Celebration of Life” — honored two long-time Fatima School teachers and breast cancer survivors, Geraldine Galasso and Patricia O’Shea.
The May 18 fundraiser, sponsored by the Fatima School Board, took place at the Silver Spring Country Club in Ridgefield.
“It is the long-term teaching staff that makes Fatima such a unique environment for our students,” Principal Stanley Steele said. “I am very grateful to both Geri Galasso and Patty O’Shea for their dedication to the school, even as they faced personal health challenges. They have lived the Fatima motto of ‘service above self,’ and are true examples to our students.”
“We are thrilled to have an opportunity to recognize these two teachers who educate and nurture the Fatima student body with tireless devotion and love,” gala chair and school board member Clara Taveras said.
Galasso is a teacher, Fatima alumni mother, and a parishioner for over 26 years. During her tenure she has taught first grade, fourth grade and most recently, middle school math. She also serves as the adviser to the student council. Diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2017, Galasso has been in remission since earlier this year. She has been an active participant in the Wilton Relay for Life and Whittingham Cancer Center Walk and Run. Galasso said she was extremely appreciative of the love and outpouring support she received during her battle with breast cancer.
“My students were my inspiration. Having their support motivated me each day,” she said.
O’Shea launched her Fatima school career 19 years ago and has taught third grade ever since. Starting in 2018, she began teaching multi-age — second and third grade. Beyond the classroom, she has been involved in the after-school program, served as a peer mediation mentor and assisted with the school plays.
In 2005 she was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer and underwent surgery, treatment and reconstruction. She has been active in supporting breast cancer initiatives, participating in the 2010 36-mile Avon Walk in New York City, the Wilton Relay for Life and Whittingham Cancer Center Walk and Run. She said she was grateful to Fatima students for helping her get through her treatment.
“I focused on getting to my classroom each day and teaching,” O’Shea said. “Having those little faces looking at me with eager expectation kept me from being discouraged or sad.”