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Dapper 6-Year-Old Dons Daily Necktie for Make-A-Wish

Mar 16, 2011 – 5:36 PM
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Rita J. Egan

For some, wearing a tie every day is a requirement for work. For 6-year-old James Funaro, it's a way to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Suffolk County in New York.

James wore one for picture day at Nesconset Elementary School back in October and received a number of compliments. After that, the first-grader decided to wear one every day.

James Funaro poses with his ties in this undated photograph.
Chimene Funaro, Smithtown Patch
James Funaro, 6, shows off some of his 56 ties.
He said to his mother, Chimene Funaro, "You never know when someone is going to take your picture."

The young man thought he might be able to set a record for the most consecutive days an individual has worn a tie. His parents checked the Guinness World Records website to see what the record is. Funaro said the organization suggests coupling a fundraising endeavor with the record-breaking feat, and James chose Make-A-Wish.

James abandoned his quest for a world record, because validation of the record proved difficult, but his mother said James decided to continue raising money for charity anyway. He was already familiar with Make-A-Wish since one of his cousins and a former classmate from preschool were granted wishes.

The ambitious first-grader hopes to raise $1,000 for Make-A-Wish and has already received more than $400. James is so dedicated that he has been wearing ties on the weekends and snow days. His mom said he even wore one when he went to the doctor with strep throat.

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Funaro said James already had a lot of ties from his brother and has received a number of them for Christmas. His collection has reached 56.

"I counted all of them," he told AOL News.

Andrea Franco, community relations coordinator at Make-A-Wish's Suffolk County chapter, said that when James stopped by the office, the staff was impressed. When Karine Hollander, president and CEO of the chapter, heard about James' efforts, she invited him to the organization's Bouquet of Wishes event to thank him for his efforts.

James and his mom had decided his last tie-wearing day would coincide with the final day of school. However, the young man now plans on wearing ties throughout the summer.

"Maybe in second grade I'll stop," James said.

Those interested in helping James' efforts for Make-A-Wish can make checks payable to Make-A-Wish Foundation of Suffolk County. Checks can be sent to: James Funaro; P.O. Box 128; Smithtown, NY 11787.

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