Gold Star family receives donated home on McNaughton Avenue

Christine Pusateri and her son, Ryan, see their McNaughton Avenue home for the first time on April 28th. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
Christine Pusateri and her son, Ryan, see their McNaughton Avenue home for the first time on April 28th. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

CHEEKTOWAGA – Citizens Bank and the Military Warriors Support Foundation partnered together this year to give a remodeled home to a local Gold Star spouse Saturday afternoon.

Christine Pusateria lost her husband, Christopher, while he served our country in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Christine Pusateria lost her husband, Christopher, while he served our country in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Christine Pusateri lost her husband, Army Sergent Christopher Pusateri on February 16, 2005, while he performed combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“We’re here to honor you and your sacrifice,” said Kathy Feeney, Executive Housing Director for the Military Warriors Support Foundation.  “You have since been blessed with two children, Ryan and Isabella, and a community that welcomes you.  You are among a very, very tight community – the Gold Star community.”

The home at 334 McNaughton Avenue was donated to Ms. Pusateri mortgage-free by Citizens Bank.  Around 150 Citizens employees volunteered their time to paint, rake, clean, and garden to make the house a home for Ms. Pusateri.

“It means the world to have all this support.  I couldn’t have asked for anything better.  It’s just amazing,” said Ms. Pusateri.

The mom of two kids says she dug herself into a financial hole over the past few years.  The gift of a mortgage-free home will help her to get out of her financial crisis.

“We might be able to do more things outside of the house now.  I didn’t really have the money to take the kids anywhere so we just basically just stayed home, but now we’ll be able to enjoy everything out there,” added Ms. Pusateri.

Citizens Bank also established a scholarship fund of $13,773 for her two kids.  Bank branches around the east coast who could not volunteer their time locally donated a snowblower, lawnmower, trampoline, grill, patio set, treadmill, kitchen table, dog sofa bed, and landscaping.

Ms. Pusateri also received $1,000 in gift cards from Target and Amazon, and Tops Friendly Markets donated food to fill her refrigerator, freezer, and pantry.

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