Fausta Ippolito lived her life in a constant state of motion. The LIC resident was active in her determination to keep children reading and to give her community a library to call its own. She was purpose driven and well on her way to seeing the fruits of her labor blossom into a state-of-the-art library on the LIC side of the East River.
Then without warning, Fausta was taken from her family and her community – her mission unfinished.
“Her purpose in life was to give,” her husband, Angelo, said of Fausta who passed away at 46 unexpectedly of cancer. The couple had two children, Gaetano, 11, and Daria, 8. “She was 100 percent selfless. People recognized this.”
Fausta’s friends, family, colleagues crowded Manducatis Rustica for “a joyful evening of food, drink, song and heartfelt memories” hosted by Gianna Cerbone, her friend and owner of the Italian restaurant on Vernon Boulevard.
The event was more than just a memoriam, it was meant to kick off the Forever Fausta Learning and Literacy Endowment campaign. Angelo – a chiropractor, nutritionist and activist in the are – explained that Fausta’s love of learning, education and libraries inspired him to do something to benefit the Queens Library, specifically at Hunters Point.
Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer attended the September 19 event and recalled his first encounter with the mother of two young children.
“I got a call from her about three or four years ago,” he said. “She said, ‘We want a library for our community,’ and she wanted to help. I told her to build support and let everyone know and start a petition drive.”
A few months later, the councilmember attended an event at P.S. 78 and saw a petition on a table with Fausta’s name along the bottom, alongside thousands of signatures.
“It was really amazing,” he said. “She was so committed. She did everything she could to make the library a reality.”
A total of $25 million has been earmarked for the construction of the library, including $3 million allocated by Van Bramer’s office, according to Tom Galante, chief executive officer of Queens Library.
Throughout the evening, individuals were able to make contributions to the foundation and buy raffle tickets for some 45 items, ranging from jewelry and bottles of premium vodka to art works and gift certificates for dance lessons and tea at the Plaza Hotel.
We hope to grow it every year,” said Galante. “It will last forever. It will be a tremendous resource, a wonderful legacy for her.”
According to Van Bramer, “The library will be a lasting tribute to her and one her children will be able to experience the rest of their lives.”
The goal is for the library to be completed by the end of 2013.
The endowment will support library books, materials, resources, and programs at the library. Anyone wishing to contribute to the endowment should go to queenslibraryfoundation.org or call