Boomer Esiason
Boomer Esiason talks on the phone to help raise funds for charity. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Retired NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason recently announced on his show The Morning Show with Boomer & Gio that he is raising money to help Colleen Celentano, a fellow East Islip native who is in danger of losing her home.

Celentano has been a Home Depot employee for more than 20 years but can no longer afford to keep her house and also pay her mother’s costly medical bills. After suffering a stroke two years ago, her mother is currently on life support. Esiason heard about Celentano’s story from her friend and coworker, Susan Palladino. 

“With the help of Susan Palladino, Home Depot, and some of my friends, we want to make a difference for Colleen,” Esiason said on the show.

The Boomer Esiason Foundation contributes to advancing cystic fibrosis research but Esiason realized that he would need assistance outside of his foundation to help Celentano, who is autistic. The show host reached out to Winters Center for Autism in West Babylon, and it set up a donation page for Celentano called “Help Colleen Preserve Her Home.”

“Diagnosed with autism as a child, and an East Islip resident for more than 40 years, Celentano stands to lose everything she has worked so hard for,” the Winters Center for Autism tweeted

Prior to the podcast episode, Home Depot employees and East Islip residents raised $11,000, and Esiason has agreed to match the first $25,000 raised. As of December, more than 1,600 contributors have donated.

“We’re almost there! Please help if you can,” Esiason tweeted on Dec. 5. “It’s not the amount we each give, it’s the amount of people who give. I can’t thank all of you who have given personally. I wish I could. Please know that I’m eternally grateful for all of your donations.”

During the Boomer & Gio show, fans called in to share encouraging words and promises to donate. Palladino also called in and voiced that she has witnessed a positive change in Celentano due to all the support and contributions. 

“It’s going to be a wonderful Christmas for Colleen,” Palladino said.

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