Phil’s Mafia Raises Awareness and Research Funds

… Just as Phil Wanted

Jeremy Monton (left) and Phil Lauria (right) met in 2012 and immediately bonded over their love of sports, fantasy football teams, and their careers in media strategy, which quickly blossomed into a deep and genuine friendship. They were always there to guide each other through life.

“What I admired most about Phil was that he connected with people and made them feel important and special no matter how brief their interaction was with him,” said Jeremy.

This is one of the many qualities Jeremy misses most about Phil and why he makes a concerted effort to honor his best friend every day.

May 30, 2020, was the second anniversary of Phil’s passing.  In 2018, just after his thirty-first birthday, Phil lost his courageous, seven-month battle with neuroendocrine cancer. One of Phil’s wishes was to increase awareness and raise funds for NET research.

To honor Phil on the second anniversary of his passing, Jeremy’s original plan was to explore LA and do everything they did when Phil visited. Those plans quickly changed when COVID-19 spread around the globe. Undeterred by the pandemic, Jeremy asked Phil’s friends and loved ones to come together, celebrate Phil, and participate in a virtual fundraiser including a tournament of games through Zoom video conference.

Phil was a big fan of the Buffalo Bills, and as any Bills supporter knows, their fanbase is called “Bills Mafia.” To most accurately represent the gathering of friends and family, who had the privilege of knowing Phil, Jeremy named his virtual event Phil’s Mafia Virtual Fundraiser.

This inspiring, successful, and heartwarming event had many participants from around the country, who took time to pay tribute to Phil. Sixty-seven donations were received and then matched by Jeremy’s company, Tinder, a subsidiary company of Match Group. All funds raised supported Black Visions Collective in Minnesota (BLVC) and NETRF.

NETRF is grateful to Jeremy, and Phil’s Mafia, for raising $7,000 for important NET research. In honor of Phil, GO BILLS!