WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A popular breakfast joint is honoring the legacy of four local teenagers in a special way.
Gel’s Kitchen is offering four specials based on the teenagers’ favorite breakfast meals.
“The Gianna,” named after Gianna Cirella, consists of two chocolate chip pancakes, two slices of bacon and hash browns. The 16-year-old Toll Gate High School soccer player passed away from sepsis back in 2017.
“The Maddie,” named after Maddie Potts, is a sausage, egg and cheese on a plain bagel with home fries. The Chariho High School soccer player died in 2017 after suffering a brain aneurysm on the field.
“The Matty Denn,” named after Matthew Dennison, features a bacon, egg and cheese on a plain bagel with a side of hash. Dennison, who was a captain on West Warwick High School’s boys hockey team, succumbed to injuries he suffered when a drunk driver crashed into his car last April. His teammate and best friend Kevin MacDonald was also injured in the crash but survived.
The fourth and final breakfast special, “The Olivia,” is named after Olivia Passaretti and includes chick and waffles with a large chocolate milk. The 17-year-old died after her car was hit by a drunk driver on I-95 back in January.
Gel’s Kitchen co-owner Angelica Penta tells 12 News that 10% of the proceeds will be donated to the organizations created in the wake of the teenagers’ deaths, including the Gianna Cirella Memorial Fund, the Maddie Potts Foundation, the Matthew Dennison Charitable Foundation and the Olivia Passaretti Scholarship Fund.
“I want to do my part to keep their names alive,” Penta said. “I said, ‘Let’s do something for them with their favorite breakfasts and put them on our menu permanently so their names are never forgotten.'”
“As long as they keep the foundations going, we’ll keep donating,” she added.
Penta said Gel’s Kitchen worked with the teenagers’ families to create the specials.
Mark Dennison, Matthew’s father, tells 12 News the gesture means a lot to their family.
“These are the things that are good,” Mark said. “We recognize when people do wonderful things in Matthew’s name and this is certainly an example of that.”
“It’s a way to keep their names alive and in the minds of all … it’s a wonderful thing that’s happening here,” he added.
The breakfast specials will become permanent additions to the Gel’s Kitchen menu and will be offered at both the West Warwick and Warwick locations.