Memorial fund for 2 mummers killed raises $40K for other mummers in need

John McDevitt
December 31, 2019 - 5:06 pm
Joseph Ferry and Dennis Palandro, Jr.

Courtesy of The Palandro-Ferry Foundation/Facebook


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Hearts are heavy for the South Philadelphia String Band this New Year’s Day.

On Jan. 2, 2019, two members of the group were killed when a car slammed into their vehicle. Mummers Joseph Ferry, 36, and Dennis Palandro Jr., 31, were killed. Ferry’s fiancee, Kelly Wiseley, 35, was also killed.

Palandro’s wife was critically injured but has since made a full recovery.

Keith Campbell was driving the wrong way on Packer Avenue when he crashed into them head-on. He was found with 15 to 20 self-inflicted stab wounds to his chest and abdomen.

Campbell survived and was charged with three counts of homicide by vehicle.

In their memory, the Palandro-Ferry Memorial Foundation was established. Since then, it has raised more than $40,000 to help members of the mummers community in need.

“The mission of the organization is to raise this money in their names, but to use it to do good work,” said board member James Donio. “To help the general mummers community when their people are in need. I know there was an incident where a family lost a loved one and was in a position where they could not afford the funeral, and the foundation made a donation to that family.”

The foundation also wants to also award scholarships in the future.

The foundation is selling shirts, mugs and caps online to continue to raise funds. 

A few days before the 2020 Mummers Parade, the South Philadelphia String Band unveiled a memorial locker in the costume room of the clubhouse with Ferry and Palandro’s names on it.