Jerome Kapelus ’86, P’16  is a former Trinity athlete—a squash alum—whose network of fellow soccer enthusiasts led him to get involved in COVID-19 response in his community in New York City.

Ten years ago, Kapelus and a group of other men who were passionate about soccer got together to form a club, Geezer F.C. This club, which now has about a core group of over 100 members who typically get together on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays for games early in the morning, are used to seeing each other often. Now, with New York at the epicenter of the United States’ coronavirus pandemic, this has changed. Like others in the New York area, Kapelus and his fellow players are doing their best to stay in to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. But when he heard his fellow soccer club member, Luca Di Pietro, was launching an effort to feed New York healthcare workers through his restaurant business, he knew he wanted to help.

Some of the medical professionals who received meals from Feed the Frontlines NYC.

Jerome became one of many Geezer F.C. donors for the newly launched Feed the Frontlines NYC. What started with a connection over sports, became a connection over helping those who are keeping the coronavirus at bay. “This group of 100 people is pretty connected. Soccer is a game that brings people together and it is a melting pot. We all sent out word to our friends and families, and have played a part in helping Luca raise over $600,000 — with some big foundations involved.” Kapelus said. Kapelus has been out to do some food deliveries to NYU Langone Medical Center and Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, and said he was humbled by the bravery and resilience of these healthcare workers.

As Kapelus continues to work from home, he is staying connected to family and friends and trying to stay active as the city fights against the virus. Kapelus noted that already, he’s gotten in touch with Trinity friends via tools like Zoom—connecting with his fellow graduates who are in places as far away as Sweden, and as close as Rhode Island.

Left to right: Jerome Kapelus ’86, P’16, Benjamin Rhodes ’86, P’14, ’17 , Erik Smith ’86, and Paul Kipnes ’85.

His message to other Bantams is simple. “I would share that in bad times, the opportunities to get connected are so important. Reconnect with people you haven’t seen in a long time. Recognize that in a just few miles radius from you there is hell going on. Find places nearby to donate to, anything you can do,” he said.  He has done this himself—and noted he already has more plans to talk with his fellow Bantams in coming days.




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