Garden Catering serves up food and awareness while fundraising for Greenwich family’s foundation

Gwozdz died in 2020 at the age of 29 from an opioid overdose—the result of a years-long addiction that unknowingly began his junior year at Greenwich High School. A sports injury required major surgery and with it came painkillers.

Marissa Alter

Jun 18, 2024, 10:20 PM

Updated 33 days ago

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Garden Catering in Old Greenwich was nonstop busy Tuesday—a welcome sign any day but especially on this one, June 18, what would have been Tyler Gwozdz’s 34th birthday.
“Today we're raising money and awareness for the Tyler G Foundation, which was started by a family from Old Greenwich who have been coming into Garden Catering for 30 years,” explained Frank Carpenteri, CEO of Garden Catering.
Gwozdz died in 2020 at the age of 29 from an opioid overdose—the result of a years-long addiction that unknowingly began his junior year at Greenwich High School. A sports injury required major surgery and with it came painkillers.
“He was super charismatic. He was the oldest of five, and he took that job very seriously. Just an all-around amazing athlete, good human being,” Carpenteri recalled.
Gwozdz was also a familiar face at Garden Catering growing up.
“Every morning coming in, getting his bacon egg and cheese with cones and honey mustard,” shared Michael Paoletta, longtime manager of the Old Greenwich location.
Paoletta is a die-hard Yankees fan but was decked out in Red Sox gear Tuesday.
“It’s for Tyler,” Paoletta explained gesturing to his hat and shirt. He told News 12 Gwozdz rooted for Boston and the two of them often went back and forth when he came in.
“When you get to a certain point of being a regular, they just see your face when you're walking in, and they start making your sandwich,” Carpenteri said. “And that's sort of what he had, so yeah, he had his own sandwich here.”
That’s why on June 18, sales of all bacon egg and cheese sandwiches, Tyler's way or otherwise, were donated to the Tyler G Foundation, which is dedicated to helping those suffering from addiction through education initiatives, family resource programs and financing addiction recovery.
Carpenteri and Paoletta said the turnout from the community was incredible.
“It's a tight-knit family in Old Greenwich,” stated Paoletta. “Everybody’s donating.”
“We had people coming in and maybe they weren’t getting a bacon, egg and cheese, but they were giving $20,” Carpenteri told News 12, adding other people requested that whatever they spent go towards the Tyler G Foundation. “Owning a business is not the easiest thing all the time but days like today really just make it worthwhile.”
Tuesday’s fundraiser took place at all of Garden Catering’s locations.


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