Updated 03/20/2013 04:52 PM
Fundraiser honors Shen teens killed in Northway crash
On Wednesday in Clifton Park, local restaurant owner Angelo Mazzone announced plans for a large scale fundraiser to be held in honor of the victims of December's fatal Northway crash. YNN's Matt Hunter reports.
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CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. – "The shock and pain, you know, it's still there every day,” said Mike Stewart. “We still, as they say, can't believe it."
More than three months after losing their 17-year-old son, Christopher, in a horrific Northway crash, every day brings reminders for Mike and Regina Stewart. Especially as the young boy's friends prepare for rites of passage like prom, graduation and moving on to college.
"We so love watching and hearing about, you know, where they're going to be going and the excitement of it,” Regina Stewart said. “But we miss that that's not going to happen in our life."
Along with Deanna Rivers, Stewart was one of two Shenendehowa seniors killed in the December 1st crash. Two other students, Matthew Hardy and Bailey Wind of Shaker High School, were injured.
On Monday, restaurant owner Angelo Mazzone announced plans for a major fundraiser in their honor.
"Many of us were left wondering how could we help, how could we show our support in the weeks following the tragedy?" Mazzone said.
Tickets to the July 15th event at Glen Sanders Mansion are on sale for $60 each or $100 per pair. Anyone who attends is automatically entered to win a $35,000 custom motorcycle from Orange County Choppers, which coincidentally is adorned in green and blue, the colors of the two schools affected by the tragedy.
"I also will have a ticket in for the motorcycle,” joked Brian Rivers, father of Deanna Rivers. “I can see that, probably in my living room actually."
"I can't imagine that the two of them wouldn't love to hop on that and take it for a ride,” said Mike Stewart, who said Chris and his older brother, Jeremy, used to tease him about buying a motorcycle when they grew older.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the Shenendehowa High School Educational Foundation and Children's Hospital at Albany Med.
If past fundraisers are any indication, organizers should have no trouble selling tickets.
"It's just a great, a great show of appreciation for Deanna and Chris,” Rivers said. “I’m looking down on us, they wouldn't have it any other way."
"They [community members] have completely wrapped their arms around us,” Regina Stewart said. “They hold us up, I've never experienced anything like it in my life."
Organizers hope to sell 2,000 tickets to this event. They can be purchased at any Mazzone Hospitality restaurant or on the company's website at http://www.mazzonehospitality.com/