Donato Tramuto transforms tragedy into Tramuto Foundation

OGUNQUIT, Maine — The weather was perfect on the patio overlooking Perkins Cove when Donato Tramuto and his partner, Jeff Porter, hosted a dinner party at their home with about a dozen guests on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2001.

“I have been living in Maine for the last 30 years,” Tramuto said in a recent interview, as he described the party in vivid detail. “There was never a night like that before, and there has never been a night like that afterward. I can’t explain it.”

Tramuto, now 65, recalled raising a glass to acknowledge the exceptional evening he and his friends were enjoying, with a toast that seemed at the time to be purely celebratory.

“I toasted to them, and I said, ‘Let’s make a toast to this beautiful evening. It will never get better than this,'” he said. “And, unfortunately, it has never gotten better than that night.”