By Sharon Turano, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Robert J. Gatto Jr. likes to help people. After having a relative who was a chiropractor, he thought it would be an interesting job to pursue since the practice offers a “conservative form of care.” He said that non-invasive form offers patients comfort without surgery. In addition to helping those patients, he also strives to help other parents who have had to deal with the loss of a child through miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death. He and his wife are the founders of Addie’s Gift Foundation, formed after their third daughter was stillborn. The nonprofit organization holds fundraisers such as an annual dinner each October to raise funds in order to provide literature, counseling and more for those going through such an experience. “People don’t know what to do,” he said, adding questions abound about whether there should be a funeral, what to do with items purchased for the child and more. The literature purchased and provided by the foundation may be able to help them find the answers and cope with the situation. “There’s a tremendous need,” he said, adding he and his wife have “filled a niche” they found needed to be after their loss. Dr. Gatto said the two had numerous people supporting them during that time, and they wanted to pass that on to others going through a similar experience. “As we went through it, we had overwhelming support,” he said, adding the foundation is simply a way to give back. The couple contacted hospitals to find out who may be in need to try to provide literature and more, eventually receiving volunteer attorney and accountant help and becoming a nonprofit organization. They put people in contact with professionals who can help them or give books to those in need to help get them through issues with which they may be dealing. About $10,000 to $20,000 is raised annually through events, fundraisers such as selling items and donations. They have recently begun giving scholarships as part of their endeavor. Efforts were focused around Western New York and Pennsylvania but have since gone national. In addition to the endeavors, he has founded also founded Allegheny Nutritionals, a trademarked line of vitamins he thinks can also help people to stay healthy. The various roles he holds to help people are simply a way of life for Dr. Gatto, who thinks everyone should help in ways they can. “The community would fall apart without help. It’s your duty,” he said, adding the community has also helped him. “My roots are here,” he said, adding he appreciates the hard work of area residents. He plans to continue that work, also. “I’m embedded in the region,” he said. Dr. Gatto said anytime one focuses on people, it is rewarding, as lives are made better. If an endeavor is not rewarding, he said, he would not want to do it. Dr. Gatto attended Jamestown Community College on a USA Scholarship given to the top 20 percent of a high school class and was assisted during his time at West Virginia University by a Community Foundation scholarship. He then went to New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls before returning to open the Jamestown practice he has had for 11 years, recently opening a second practice.