Tony Danza will take care of the Malverne bar to save a school trip
Before Tony Danza became the ‘boss’, he was a bartender at a pub in Malverne, where he grew up. Since then, the 62-year-old actor has taken on a variety of television and film roles, written two books and even served as a public schoolteacher.
On March 14, he’ll loop back tending to the same faucets at Connolly Station (it was called Ickle Bickle’s when he worked there) for a fundraiser to reinstate the Howard T. Herber Middle School.
When Danza, a 1968 Malverne High School graduate, learned from his cousin that the field trip to the Frost Valley YMCA in upstate Claryville was in jeopardy due to budget cuts, he volunteered to help.
“Education is my problem,” said Danza, who taught at a Philadelphia high school in 2009, which was chronicled on the reality show “Teach.” He also wrote the book “I would like to apologize to all the teachers I had”.
“I am worried about the messages we are sending to children,” he added. “We tell them education is really important, but put them in a rundown building or cut programs.”
Danza partnered with the Save Frost Valley Committee, a group made up primarily of Howard T. Herber parents, to pull together the fundraiser.
Since the field trip, a 42-year tradition, was cut from the Malverne School District budget last May, the group has raised $15,000 of the $40,000 needed to reinstate it. Volunteers washed cars, sold candles and hosted a concert featuring the “American Idol” Season 10 contestant and Merrick resident Robbie Rosen.
“SFV is thrilled and grateful that Tony Danza is returning to Malverne to support our mission,” said committee member Gina Genti. “The community is buzzing and we are planning a great evening with lots of memories and good laughs, all for a great cause!”
Danza anticipates a nostalgic night.
“I learned a lot about acting behind that bar,” he said. “I can’t help but reminisce.”
While he’s eager to show off his bartending skills and reconnect with people from his old neighborhood, he mostly said he wants to show the kids that “someone really cares…It’s not just empty words”.
With a minimum donation of $20, each attendee will receive a drink, courtesy of Connolly Station owner Gerry Hughes, served by the “Taxi” and “Who’s the Boss?” ” star. Additional revenue will be raised through the sale of raffle tickets, with prizes including an iPad and a weekend in Frost Valley. The event starts at 7 p.m.
Connolly station is located at 280 Hempstead Ave.