Pizza Shop Helps Teen Eyeing Olympics in 2016

Ten percent of all sales at Illiano's Pizza on South Main Street on Thursday will help Middletown High School student and judo competition star Madison Geores advance to the next level.


A city pizza shop known for its support of local causes has stepped up again to help a high school teen realize her dream of qualifying for the 2016 Olympic judo team.

Illiano’s Pizza on South Main Street in Middletown is donating 10 percent of its Feb. 7 sales to Middletown High School student and Blue Dragon Judo team member Madison Geores, a 15-year-old junior who is raising funds for an Olympic future.

Tuesday, Mayor Dan Drew presented Maddy with a proclamation at Illiano’s and was accompanied by her family, Vinnie Scileppi of Illiano’s and assistant coach Victor Otero of New Britain Judo Club. 

“There are many national and international events that she will need to attend along this journey and will need the help of many donations and/or sponsorships to make it happen,” says her mother Heidi Geores. 

Her judo division is 13-16 (age) 63kg (weight).

The Middletown Police unions have already donated $200, says Heidi.

And mom is behind Maddy 100 percent. “I have been selling candy and baked goods for the last year and did manage to fund her trip to the 2012 Jr. US Open held in Ft. Lauderdale this past July that way.  I am applying for grant funding through Women in Sports, under an endowment left in Rusty Kanakogi’s name that has been set aside specifically for female judoka with aspirations of high-level competition.”

Heidi says the road to Olympic qualifying is a long and expensive proposition. Her modest budget of five national events the family hopes to have her participate this competition season is estimated at $6,000.  “This does not include any of the international events that she has been invited to attend – including France and Australia,” mom says.

Maddy has been studying competitive judo for nearly 10 years and is ranked third on the national roster.  She needs to continue to compete on the national and international level to maintain her standing and advance toward her ultimate goal of the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

The fundraiser is good all day Thursday, from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., at the 404 South Main Street location, for dine in or takeout. Call (860) 346-5656.

Donations can be made directly to: "Maddy's Judo Fund" at Liberty Bank c/o Lucinda Whitehouse, 315 Main Street, Middletown, CT.

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