Community Leader Continues to Deliver for Diabetes Research

Community Leader Continues to Deliver for Diabetes Research

Joe Mure takes a break last Sunday night during his annual Little North Pole event to benefit juvenile diabetes research. Photo by Michael V. Cusenza

Joe Mure takes a break last Sunday night during his annual Little North Pole event to benefit juvenile diabetes research.
Photo by Michael V. Cusenza

Joe Mure is in demand.

It’s a windy, bitter-cold December evening in Neponsit Beach. Steps from the sprawling brick corner home where Mure hangs his hat, thousands of parents and children of all ages mill about the street, some with their gaze fixed on the brightly lit stage in the middle of the intersection, others on his home, which has been transformed into its own holiday attraction, as it has been every year for the past two decades.

“Joe Mure to the stage!” bellows radio personality Goumba Johnny, repeating the request two more times before Mure makes it to his destination.

It’s a big night—Mure’s 19th annual Little North Pole spectacular—not only for him, but also for the charity closest to his heart: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, to which every penny donated at LNP will go. One of Mure’s sons lives with the metabolic disease.

“It was excellent,” said Mure, three days after the event that was originally scheduled for Saturday, but was postponed a day due to inclement weather. “We dealt with a lot of havoc in the beginning, but we were able to put together a show. These people came out because they believe in what I do, believe in the cause, and they see that what we’re doing is good.”

Hosted by Goumba Johnny and Joe Causi, LNP featured special guests, including Tony Sirico and John Ventimiglia of “The Sopranos”; performances by acts such as Carol Douglas and borough native Lucas Prata; and, of course, jolly old St. Nick and Mrs. Claus, who handed out gifts to every child in attendance.

“I couldn’t do this without the support of my neighbors and friends,” noted Mure before thanking businesses such as Mercedes-Benz of Brooklyn, Matteo’s of Howard Beach, Lenny’s Clam Bar, Bruno’s, Ragtime, Beach Bagel and Applebee’s in Woodmere for their generosity.

“When you deal with some children who suffer and have obstacles every hour of every day, it kind of warms you up inside, no matter how cold it is,” said Mure, a Canarsie, Brooklyn, native who moved to Neponsit 21 years ago.

Little North Pole capped another successful year of philanthropy for Mure and his friends, marked by fundraising events including a cocktail dinner party at the Tiro A Segno club in Manhattan, and the first annual Loop, a 20-mile bike ride to benefit both the JDRF and New York Families for Autistic Children.

At Mure’s side on Sunday night, as he has been for the past 10 years, was Angelo Gurino. To date, with the help of countless volunteers and businesses, they estimate that they have raised well over $1 million for diabetes research.

“He’s out there every weekend,” Mure said. “Angelo is an outstanding individual.”

The LNP festivities did not end on Sunday. Mure invited over 200 special-needs children out to his home on Monday morning for a holiday party, and that night hosted an event for the Special Olympics.

Asked why, after two decades of service, he still feels the need to give back, Mure, an attorney by trade, said, “It’s important, because some people need help. If you can help them, you should be out there helping. It’s what you’re supposed to do in life.”



By Michael V. Cusenza


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