By Mary O’KEEFE
“No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop
That is the philosophy the Ferraro family hopes all will take from attending a fundraiser this Sunday.
“We are looking to educate people…on the acts of kindness, compassion, and the power of their words,” wrote Deana Ferraro, mother of 15-year-old Drew Ferraro, in an email to Crescenta Valley Weekly.
On Feb. 10, just as lunch period began, Drew ended his life by jumping from the roof of a building on the Crescenta Valley High School campus.
After their son’s death, the Ferraro family began to uncover a picture of bullying. The family was aware of some issues from the past, but did not realize that bullying continued to be a part of Drew’s life.
“We had filed harassment reports with [CVHS] the previous school year. As of September, Drew did not mention the bullying to us as we were actively involved in reporting [the harassment],” stated Deana. “Since his death, we have received many emails and texts regarding how the bullying continued throughout this year.”
The community has responded to the family’s loss through donations of food for the funeral, and an outpouring of support for the family.
Scott Wilson and his wife attended Drew’s funeral. Ali is a close friend of the family. Scott knew he wanted – needed – to do something to help.
“I stopped by Leo’s [All-Star Sports Bar and Grill] to grab a pizza,” Scott said.
He saw Leo Lesh, the bar’s owner, sitting in his office and the idea for a fundraiser/battle of the bands was born.
“It just took off from that point,” he said.
The fundraiser is an anti-bullying awareness event that will offer food, fun and education.
There will be a number of agencies and outreach programs at the event to help those who have suffered from bullying and those who continue to be victims. It will also be a way for parents to find outreach programs that can help them and help their children.
In a short period of time, community members working together with the family have arranged this outreach event. For the Ferraros, it is hoped their newly formed foundation will continue to grow.
“The foothills community has been wonderfully supportive and we are thankful for all the kindness we have received,” Deana stated. “We would like to see the foundation start in our own community to bring awareness and education.”
Scott added that the word of Sunday’s event spread quickly and people continue to offer help.
The event will include a car show at 11 a.m.; a “weenie roast” at noon and 10 bands will perform in the Battle of the Bands at noon. There will also be Drew’s Voice T-shirts and wristbands sold and a silent auction.
The event will be at Leo’s All Star Sports Bar and Grill, 2941 Honolulu Ave. All ages are welcomed and much of the activities throughout the day will be held in Leo’s parking lot.
These are just a few names of those who have supported the Ferraro family in creating this event. As the community continues to rally, more names will be added:
Dilbeck Real Estate –
Brandy Sheedy/Silent Auction
Jasmine’s Salon & Spa
Bonners Equipment Rentals
Schreiner’s Fine Sausages
Leo’s Sports Bar and Grill