SUFFERN, N.Y. -- The story behind the good works of the Vincent Crotty Memorial Foundation in Suffern is really a story about a community coming together to grieve, heal, and create a legacy.
In March 2010, Vincent Crotty was an 18-year-old senior at Suffern High School and was on both the varsity basketball and baseball teams; he had committed to play baseball at SUNY-IT in Utica. Midway through spring break on a rainy morning, Vincent and his best friend, Chris Konkowski were on their way to baseball practice when they were killed in an auto accident.
In the weeks and months that followed, there was no return to normalcy for many. The loss was too profound because both boys and their families were involved in so many facets of life in Suffern.
The Crotty family, along with several close friends wanted to honor Vincent's memory in a lasting way. They established the Vincent Crotty Memorial Foundation, whose mission is to provide assistance to those in need throughout Rockland and the Hudson Valley.
The first official event was an all-you-can-eat Wing Nite in June 2010: “Wing Nite was a success for two reasons: It brought together a grieving community and it was a successful launch for the Foundation," said Vincent's mother, Jean. The foundation is all about the love of a community.”
The money raised has been used for everything from helping with funeral expenses of children, to annual scholarships, supporting Suffern DARE Toy Drive, families in crisis and more.
“Vincent was quiet until you got to know him. He was funny, kind, respectful, playful and devoted to his family, his girlfriend, teammates, and friends. A great kid who never gave us any trouble” said Vincent's father, Peter. "I don't know what Vincent would think of the foundation, but I'm sure he would be glad it's helping others."
Next up, the annual Wing Nite & BBQ at the Mahwah Elks Club on June 4 from 5 to 9 p.m. Tickets: $20 adults, $10 children under 12.
For information, or to donate to the Crotty Foundation, click here.