Lawrence's (l-r) Dylann Fujimoto and Nicole Caporusso at cake sale...

Lawrence's (l-r) Dylann Fujimoto and Nicole Caporusso at cake sale for injured former Lawrence student David Gerges at the Nassau High School girls gymnastics meet between Lawrence and Massapequa. (Jan. 31, 2011) Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

For Lawrence gymnastics, with the cupcakes come a cause.

The pastry-laden folding table outside the gym has been as much of a mainstay at meets this season as the vaulting table inside. But you'll excuse Lawrence for being overeager in its Pillsbury-pushing. It is, after all, for a friend.

David Gerges was walking home with a friend early New Year's Day when he was struck by a car and left for dead on a Cedarhurst street. Gerges' friend, Tom Jordan, suffered minor injuries.

The Lawrence graduate was placed in intensive care, was put in a medically induced coma and is now on the slow road to recovery. The medical costs, team captain Nicole Caporusso said, are debilitating. That's where the icing comes in.

"He's doing rehab in the city," she said. "It's going to be expensive . . . and he's a close friend of mine."

It seemed only natural, then, to put their baking to good use. Caporusso and fellow senior Dylann Fujimoto spearhead the bake sales as part of a community effort and sell at a number of gymnastics-related events. Their biggest draw, Caporusso said, is yet to come: the Feb. 12 Coaches' Invitational, which draws hundreds of spectators from all around Nassau County. Even without that expected windfall, they've already raised about $500, Fujimoto said. All the proceeds go to Gerges' family.

"We bake them ourselves," Fujimoto said of the treats which, at last week's Massapequa meet, were Valentine's Day pink. "I heard his story, he used to go to our school and it just seemed like a good idea."

Indeed, the Lawrence team isn't alone in its efforts. The incident has brought an outpouring of community support for the personable 21-year-old. Family and friends put together a Jan. 14 fund-raiser at Five Towns Community Center, again, all going toward his rehabilitation.

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