CHARACTER COUNTS

Larry Fitzgerald buying patrons’ meals to help ailing Scottsdale deli owner

Sep 17, 2018, 4:48 PM | Updated: Sep 18, 2018, 9:00 am

Larry Fitzgerald, wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals, gives a tribute during memorial service ...

Larry Fitzgerald, wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals, gives a tribute during memorial service at North Phoenix Baptist Church for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York, Pool)

(AP Photo/Matt York, Pool)

Arizona Cardinals star receiver Larry Fitzgerald is picking up the meal tab Tuesday to help raise funds for a terminally ill Scottsdale deli owner.

Fitzgerald will pay for all orders at Casella’s Italian Delicatessen from noon to 5 p.m., and donations will be collected for Joe Casella and his family.

“I want to support Joe, his legacy and his family and I hope those that come in Tuesday will do the same by donating to support this man, his family and what they have and continue to represent,” Fitzgerald said in a news release.

Casella, 79, has terminal cancer. He and his wife, Tina, opened the restaurant on Granite Reef Road near McDonald Drive in 1977.

“We are touched by what Larry and others in the community doing for Joe,” Tina Casella said in the release.

“Joe touched so many lives during his 42 years of owning this shop. Now it’s an incredible feeling to see the community rallying around him and the good he stands for.”

Fitzgerald and teammates D.J. Foster and Christian Kirk plan to stop by during the day to thank patrons for their donations.

Foster and Kirk both played football at Saguaro High School, which is less than a mile from the deli. Casella has been a longtime supporter of the school’s teams.

Anybody who can’t make it by Casella’s during the event but wants to contribute can mail donations to the restaurant at 5905 N Granite Reef Rd., Scottsdale, Arizona, 85250.

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Larry Fitzgerald buying patrons’ meals to help ailing Scottsdale deli owner