Pat Farenga has had a family funeral business in New York City for the past 38 years. In addition to serving the community in the for profit sector, he has also been involved in civic, ethnic and nonprofit organizations.
Mr. Farenga is President of Columbus Alliance, a philanthropic Italian-American club in Bronx, County, New York. In 1981, Mr. Farenga was instrumental in organizing a humanitarian effort to assist the victims of the devastating earthquake in southern Italy. He rallied fellow funeral directors, medical providers, and anyone who wished to donate medical supplies such as bandages and crutches for this endeavor. These items were then encased in caskets and brought by hearses to Kennedy Airport and loaded on the airplane by a previous agreement with Al Italia Airlines and flown to Rome. The items were then put on trucks by the Italian Red Cross workers and delivered to the “Mezzogiorno” for use by the afflicted and maimed and ultimately for burial of deceased victims.
As a result of this particular project, Mr. Farenga was sent $15,000. The republic of Italy announced a shortage of burial receptacles and was very appreciative of his efforts; however, Mr. Farenga turned over the entire amount to the Columbus Alliance. They decided to give $5,000 to then Governor Mario Cuomo, Congressman Mario Biaggi and Monsignor Patrick Carrol Abbing of Boys Town of Italy, respectively. Mr. Farenga was also honored with a citation from the State of New York, a Congressional Medal of Merit and a Certificate of Gratitude from Boys Town of Italy.
In addition to his work with the Columbus Alliance, Mr. Farenga is 45-year member of Kiwanis International, Worldwide Service Organization, Charter Member and President of the local North East Bronx Club and has a lifetime membership bestowed upon him by the Kiwanis Club of Hartsdale, New York, where as a member in 1968, he was elected Lieutenant Governor of the Bronx-Westchester Division. As the Lieutenant Governor, Mr. Farenga was the catalyst along with fellow Kiwanis Club members, in establishing a “Key Club,” which is a Kiwanis Club designed for high school students. The youth in the club are introduced to service and helping those who are materially less fortunate than themselves. Now, Mr. Farenga performs at senior citizen functions and boat rides the club sponsors for the seniors. He also participates in Christmas caroling for youth at the annual Hartsdale Kiwanis Club Christmas Party.
Mr. Farenga was called upon by the Fordham University Circle K Club to do a benefit performance for the International Project of the Year. There he opened for the Harlem Boys Choir in a fundraiser for third world children afflicted with AIDS. That evening $6,000 was raised and sent to the Kiwanis representatives in the countries where these poor children are cared for and treated. Most recently, Mr. Farenga has been a “community mobilizer,” working with the Mayor and School Superintendent of Tuckahoe High School for “The First Year Remembrance of Our Never Forgotten Heroes – The World Trade Center Tragedy – September 11, 2001.”