Joe Aiello is, as he himself has said of others, the kind of person who makes this big small town the best.
When he’s not pulling double duty at Power 97 as Program Director and a co-host of Power Mornings, the veteran of Winnipeg’s airwaves is giving back to his beloved “big small town.”
He champions and supports Palliative Care at St. Boniface Hospital through the Aiello Endowment Fund, which he established in 2011. The fund honours the memories of Aiello’s late mother, Fiorina Aiello, and his late wife, Alanna Hogue Aiello.
When Alanna was brought into the Hospital’s Palliative Care Unit after a lengthy battle with cancer, Aiello said he was “thankful there was a facility like this, that’s able to take care of her. Because I couldn’t take care of her anymore, and that’s the worst feeling in the world for anybody.”
Pizza promotion raised $7,500
Aiello encourages his listeners and the public to support Palliative Care in any way they can.
“I’ve been blessed to have a wonderful career – it’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid.”
“But I always say, radio people and local celebrities, we have a voice.”
“It happens to be a big voice and thank God that it’s heard by a lot of people, and generous people who will come to bat for you.”
Aiello partnered with Santa Lucia Pizza and his colleague, 680 CJOB’s Hal Anderson, to put the Hal and Joe Pizza on the menu.
“Greg Simeonidis at Santa Lucia had asked if we would put our names to the pizza. And when you hear something like that, with somebody willing to write a nice cheque at the end of it, I have no problems with that,” he said.
It took about four to six months for the promotion to raise $7,500 for Palliative Care, which Aiello, Simeonidis, and their colleagues donated through St. Boniface Hospital Foundation in October.
“I think my mom and Alanna would be happy to know that there’s a lot of people out there who are willing to help others, especially knowing what they went through,” he said.
“When you see firsthand what that staff does up there, dealing with chronic pain that these patients are going through. It’s amazing how they can magically help them feel better and at least at ease and give them peace of mind in a lot of ways.”
“It’s the most remarkable thing I’ve ever witnessed, to be honest.”