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St. Louis Business Leaders Visit Cuban Orphanage on Mission Trip

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 CLAYTON, MISSOURI ( KTVI)- Each one of us has story. A Clayton business owner is using his personal story to help change lives . Tony Pietoso is the owner of the very popular Café Napoli. On any given day, he’s rubbing shoulders with influential people in business and philanthropy. It’s a long way from his humble beginnings in an orphanage in Italy. Tony recently took a group of business men and corporate executives on a mission trip to Cuba.The eight men visited La Edad De Oro, an orphanage for children with physical disabilities where they made repairs and delivered medical supplies."It was heartbreaking to see all these children in need. It was also tremendously uplifting. Everyone we met was so gracious and appreciative of our visit." said Pietoso.U.S. citizens are largely restricted from traveling to Cuba on business. Exemptions are made for humanitarian efforts. Pietoso says no matter what happens in politics, the children cannot be forgotten. Donn Sorensen, Regional president of Mercy was among the eight men who took the trip. "All of us in this group make donations locally from our personal and corporate resources," Sorensen says.Sorensen went on to say "This is an opportunity for us to give internationally and to help children in desperate need of support. "It’s such a wonderful feeling to be able to help other people," "but in truth, I believe our group received much more than we gave.Pietoso could be a reminder to all no matter what adversities you face in life, you can make it. An interesting fact about Tony, he had a five year stint as a hairstylist, then began working as a waiter in restaurants and the rest is history. He recently opened Napoli 2 in Chesterfield.