For our team post this month we are featuring Team BMB member, Tattoo Tony —
Here is a story of a troubled youth that over came the odds and now knows the sky is the limit.
At a young age, Tattoo Tony left home to become a tattoo artist. Through the years he had his trials of life from living on his own at a young age, to drugs and all the negative things that crossed his way, living a life which was taking him down a road of no return. One day he received a phone call from a gentleman saying Bret Michaels wanted you to tattoo him…that phone call changed Tony’s life forever.
Since that phone call Tony’s life has done a total 360 from a down and out drug addict to the man everyone knows as Tattoo Tony today. Now some 9 years later Tony has accomplished so much being a single father with full sole custody of his son Ray. One of Tony’s major accomplishments is his non-profit foundation called Under My Skin for Life aka U.M.S.F.L.
U.M.S.F.L. is run by Tony and volunteers, is a 100% non-profit foundation and the motto is “to help those in times of need”. They pride themselves on helping others. The foundation started as Tony wanted to keep his father’s name alive and also Tony’s best friend Michael Anthony Fornicola. To do what Tony’s father had taught him originally, to help people that need help.
The foundation has done so many things. Around the time the foundation started in September of 2012, New Jersey got hit by Superstorm Sandy which devastated the Jersey shore. Tony, along with the help of the foundation and the huge fan base between Tattoo Tony and Bret’s fans, started receiving boxes upon boxes of donations and Tony and the U.M.S.F.L. jumped into action going into the heart of where the families that truly need the help. During Christmas the U.M.S.F.L. had a 3 day toy drive and received 550 toys. They went out into the heart of where the devastation was and made sure that those families had a very merry Christmas.
There are currently five chapters of the U.M.S.F.L. – NJ, NY, PA, VA, FL – who strive to help families that really need the help in any way that they can. Just recently the U.M.S.F.L., along with the Old Bridge Metal Militia and Rock and Roll Heaven, raised $41,000 and helped 109 families of the New Jersey shore.
If anyone knows Tony, they know he has a huge heart and will do anything for anyone. He is an inspiration to many if you follow his journey he would always put a smile on your face.
On September 14, 2012, Tony started Tattooing for Autism were he raised over $7,000 and donated it to Autism Speaks. This year, on September 14, he hopes to double that amount.
Be on the look out for Tattoo Tony and the U.M.S.F.L. and what their next tasks will be. For more info on Tony and the U.M.S.F.L. foundation go to www.undermyskinforlife.org or www.undermyskintat2.com. Also check out them out on facebook.com/undermyskinforlife.