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Potts raises $20,000 for Whitehall youth

During a Jan. 8 fundraiser at Potts Doggie Shop, 2428 Cherryville Road, Northampton, the borough and its surrounding communities, as well as the Potts team led by Tracy Emanuel, delivered a slam dunk for Joey Groller, a 16-year-old basketball player from Whitehall who is battling acute myeloid leukemia.

In a tremendous outpouring of love and generosity, more than 600 people showed up to purchase food and lend their support. At the end of the day, they had raised more than $20,000 for the Marie Mazziotta Cancer Fund, set up by Potts co-owners Mark and Bob Mazziotta in honor of their sister, who died of breast cancer in 2006.

“People have been wonderful,” Mark Mazziotta said.

Serving more than 600 customers during a normal eight-hour business day hardly seemed to phase Emanuel, even though Mark Mazziotta had been sidelined for the day with illness.

“It went really smoothly,” Emanuel said.

Mark Mazziotta is always quick to credit Emanuel.

“She runs everything,” he said. “I’d be lost without her.”

All the effort really paid off when the Mazziottas and Emanuel were able to present Joey with a check for $20,000 Jan. 19. It may not solve all of the family’s problems, but it may help them sleep just a little bit better.

Joey had been diagnosed July 18, 2022, and was originally slated to spend six months in the hospital. He responded so well to treatment he was able to come home after only four months.

According to his mother, Megan Groller, Joey has been cyber schooling throughout, so he is on track for graduation. He’ll reportedly have a lot of making up for the extra credits next year.

The family also set a goal for him to be back on the basketball court this summer, so he’s working on a routine to help him get back to playing.

They also plan to take a family vacation this summer to just “be alone together,” Megan Groller said. “It’s been a lot, especially with my younger son (Johnny) not having the family under one roof. We need a little break to spend some time with just the four of us.”

With the support of his family, a strong core group of friends, Whitehall High School and the surrounding community, it seems Joey has a lot to look forward to in the future.

PRESS PHOTO BY M.J. KORSAK Whitehall High School student Joey Groller receives a check for $20,000 Jan. 19 from the staff and owners of Potts Doggie Shop, 2428 Cherryville Road, Northampton. A fundraiser was held Jan. 8 at the eatery to support Joey's fight against acute myeloid leukemia. Pictured are Megan Groller, Tom Keppel, Tracy Emanuel, Bob Mazziotta, Joey Groller, Mark Mazziotta and Alex Mazziotta.