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Rallying for Roy

Fredonia family seeking support for longtime employee, friend

Submitted Photo Roy White got his start at Mancuso Service Center while he was still a student at Silver Creek High School and was hired full time in 1973. Since then, he’s greeted customers and pumped gas for the Main Street business, which has served the community since 1954.

For nearly 50 years, Roy White has been a familiar face at Mancuso Service Center, where he’s worked as a gas attendant since high school. However, many have noticed White’s absence from the pumps for the past month — an unusual sight, as “he very rarely called in sick,” according to Anthony Mancuso.

“At the end of last year, Roy was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer,” Mancuso’s sister, Regina Willey, told the OBSERVER. “He’s not able to work, which is really sad for Roy and everybody who knows him. He’s such a wonderful guy, and we miss him, but we want him to get better!”

Willey and her brother have known White all their lives, as he was hired years before they were born. “Our parents, Tony and Shelley Mancuso, are the owners, but Roy started working here in 1971 for my grandfather, Anthony Salvatore Mancuso, who started the business,” Willey explained. “When Roy was in high school, he went to BOCES and back then, students would go out in the community and do internships. He ended up coming here, and my grandfather liked him so much, he hired him on the spot!”

White has been a full-time employee of Mancuso’s since 1973, putting gas in people’s vehicles and sharing a friendly greeting for decades. Now a Dunkirk resident, White called Fredonia home for several years and walked or rode his bike to work for nearly 20 years before he ever bought a car himself.

“He worked here full time and supported a family,” said Mancuso. “He’s just a hard worker who always shows up and is very, very dependable.”

“He has that old-school work ethic that is hard to find anymore. Roy is a very kind person and just wonderful with the customers. He deserves the help.”

On Jan. 15, White left Mancuso’s in order to focus on his health. “We were so shocked to hear about his cancer and asked him what he needed,” Willey explained. “Roy told us he wants to work, but he doesn’t know if he is capable right now. He said he thinks it’s best that he goes into retirement and on disability.”

White underwent surgery on Jan. 22 and will begin chemotherapy treatments at Roswell Park this month. “He’s still waiting to be accepted by disability,” Mancuso explained. “The traveling back and forth and overnight stays are costly. We don’t know what his capability will be after the fact or what he’ll get from Social Security to live on. We want to do everything we can to support Roy because he’s always been someone we could depend on.”

On Jan. 24, Willey created a GoFundMe page for White and was shocked at the response. “Within the first hour, it was up to $2,200,” said Mancuso. As of Monday, the GoFundMe fundraiser total was $14,325. “Roy is very, very appreciative and humbled by everybody’s outreach and the support he’s getting. He is a proud man — he takes care of himself — and for people to come out and donate to him, he is very grateful and touched by it. I know he’d thank each and every person individually if he could.”

Mancuso and Willey said that customers and community members have been stopping by Mancuso’s to leave donations for him in the office, which are collected and delivered to White every week.

“Everybody knows Roy!” said Willey. “He’s basically a Fredonia staple. He is so appreciative and just amazed by everyone’s support. We greatly appreciate everyone’s prayers, well-wishes and donations. We have a great community that just comes together in times of need.”

Donations for White can be dropped off at Mancuso’s at 242 E. Main St. in Fredonia or online at https://www.gofundme.com/f/roy-white.

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