Chelsea High coach Gena Restiano was president of her class, a team captain, and scored 1,000 points in her spectacular basketball career at Revere High.
Restiano is now leading in another important way, having established a GoFundMe effort to help Chelsea residents as they deal with financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The drive is called ‘City of Chelsea’ and I’ve raised $1,655 to-date through some local donors such as the City Council and the School Committee,” said Restiano. “I want people to donate because the City of Chelsea is struggling right now.”
Restiano said she did some research for the drive and determined that a large percentage of Chelsea’s population is employed as essential workers. “A lot of people have lost their jobs because of COVID-19,” said Restiano.
A former Suffolk University basketball player, Restiano said that her mother helped inspire her goodwill effort.
“She saw Chelsea’s plight on the news and suggested a project that would assist local families during the holidays,” said Restiano, adding that she will forward the donations from the GoFundMe drive to La Colaborativa, which is headed by Gladys Vega.
CHS Director of Athletic Amanda Alpert has been assisting in the fundraising project. Restiano said some of her CHS senior basketball players are promoting the ‘City of Chelsea’ GoFundMe drive.
Restiano was excited to hear that one of her basketball players, Victoria Stutto, had received a QuestBridge full scholarship and will be attending Davidson College. “She’s an amazing student,” said Restiano. “She’s not just a good athlete, but she’s a great kid, too.”
Restiano is hoping to return to the basketball court with her team soon. She also coaches varsity softball at CHS and is a IAABO-certified basketball referee.