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Hot dog giveaway is memorial to Lewiston woman

LEWISTON – Joan A. Pillitere loved hot dogs. It was her favorite food, something she associated with fun-filled family gatherings.

Pillitere, 73, died July 20 after a lengthy battle with cancer. Her family will team up with the Silo Restaurant to hold a hog dog giveaway and Niagara Hospice fundraiser in her honor beginning at 11 a.m. Monday at the Silo, 115 N. Water St.

Pillitere, the wife of former Assemblyman Joseph T. Pillitere. was remembered by family as a very giving person who liked the simple things in life. She had been a resident of Lewiston since the 1950s.

Her son, Joseph Jr., wanted to honor his mother by giving away 500 hot dogs to Lewiston residents. Silo owner Alan Hastings is selling the hot dogs to the Pillitere family at cost and is providing staffing, setup and complimentary beverages.

Joe Jr. said that a short while after his mother was diagnosed with cancer, he went to visit her in the hospital, and her shirt and bedding were covered with mustard – she had been eating her favorite food. Her face lit up despite the pain.

That hot dog was also the last real meal she ate.

The hot dog giveaway is to celebrate Joan’s life, kindness and giving spirit, the family said.

“We are working together to hold this great hot dog giveaway to honor his mom. We will start giving them away until they are gone,” said Hastings in a news release.

Event organizer Stacey Sheehan, the business consultant for Speaking Stacey, said she understands the pain of losing a family member to cancer. “Monday is not just a chance to enjoy a free lunch at the Silo. It’s about family, community and honoring a great lady.”