Tarzia Foundation holds fundraiser for injured Stamford man

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A Stamford-based nonprofit is working with the community to help the victim of a 2017 car crash.

During the incident, a car plowed into the restaurant where Erwin Hernandez worked as a busboy. He had to have his leg amputated.

News 12 reported his story two years ago as he tackled his road to recovery while he attended Stamford High School. Hernandez already overcame plenty of challenges before the accident. He moved to Connecticut from Guatemala when he was 16 and knew little English.

MORE: ‘Erwin Strong’ fundraiser benefits injured Stamford HS student 

Despite that, he became a member of the National Honors Society, all while working at the restaurant to send money to his mother back home. Graduation day marks a major milestone for most high school seniors – but for Hernandez, those few steps to get his diploma were immeasurable.

Friends and teachers held fundraisers to help pay for his medical bills. But years later, financial issues haven't let up.


Nicola Tarzia, who founded the Tarzia Foundation, decided to turn an upcoming event honoring National Hispanic Heritage Month into a fundraiser for Hernandez. He says he felt a special connection to Hernandez’s story.

“My heart went out to this kid because I'm a Stamford High graduate and my father was also handicapped too, an amputee,” he says.

Jenny Reinoso-Castellano, a volunteer of the foundation, says Hernandez is unable to find work due to his ongoing recovery treatments.

“He's still like seeing psychiatrists, doctors, physical therapy, it takes his whole day,” she says.

The fundraiser will be held Saturday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Italian Center Pavilion Tent. Tickets can be bought at the door or online.

Half the proceeds from the event will go to Hernandez, who the foundation recently moved into a handicap accessible apartment.

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