Easthampton teens go above and beyond to help family in need

What started as an innocent business for some boys in Easthampton turned into a summer they will never forget.
Published: Jul. 25, 2023 at 7:21 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

EASTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - What started as an innocent business for some boys in Easthampton turned into a summer they will never forget.

Easthampton teenager Anthony Pascinella and his friends were simply looking for some extra cash, so they went to work. Monday, July 17 was opening day for a car wash that changed their lives forever.

“We were pretty excited because like the first car, that’s when it all starts off,” Pascinella said.

Pascinella was busy washing a car on that hot summer day when he realized his work wasn’t coming out squeaky clean.

“So I walked into the store and was just like I asked for to see what we could start off with and how much it would cost and we were just standing outside and he came and here is some money for you guys and we were all confused and were like ‘Really?’” Pascinella added.

Pascinella is talking about 38-year-old Dan Williamson. The Advance Auto Parts employee surprised the boys with some money to buy washing tools to enhance their business. Williamson even took the time to show the kids how to properly wash a car.

“We were like super confused and excited. We were like happy, but confused why they wanted to help us,” Pascinella explained.

That chance interaction turned out to be the boys last with Williamson. Just one day later, Williamson tragically passed away from a heart attack.

“It’s gonna take time. I know he’s not here anymore, but I guess it’s gonna take some time to sink,” said Marla Kelley, Williamson’s mother.

Kelley is still reeling from the sudden death of her son, but when she heard the story of one of his last good deeds, she knew it was her son.

“Danny loved kids. That’s who he was. He was a very humble person, happy go lucky,” Kelley added.

When the boys found out, they wanted to pay respects to the man who had helped them out, so they decided to donate that week’s proceeds to Williamson’s family. Kelley told us she had no idea this car wash even existed until a family member showed her a Facebook post.

“I was reading it and it brought me to tears…I did come down and seen it and I had my car washed and I sat that day here,” Kelley explained.

The following day, those boys presented Kelley with $500. She said that money is going to help Williamson’s son, Domenic.

“Whether it be school clothing or whatever, in a CD, whatever he needs, I’ll make sure he gets it…Watching my grandson grow up is like watching my son grow up all over again,” Kelley said.

Pascinella told Western Mass News that if he could speak with Williamson one last time, he would simply express his gratitude.

“Thank you for helping us and getting this all started, like we wouldn’t have got that far without the starting stuff,” Pascinella said.