By Samantha SLAYBACK
Recently, the foothills community lost a beloved member, Tom Susca, 37. Susca left behind many grieving friends and family, one of whom is his 15-year-old daughter Gabby. Since his sudden passing from a brain aneurism, Susca’s family and friends have created a GoFundMe page to raise money for Gabby’s college fund.
Their goal is to raise $15,000 and have so far accumulated approximately $12,000 in donations.
In addition to the GoFundMe page, long-time family friend Chad Skrederstu decided to hold a charity fundraiser for Gabby at 168 Fitness, the gym he runs with his wife Ana. For each person who attended, $25 was donated to Gabby’s cause.
“Tommy loved the ’80s, so we did a full-on ’80s-themed workout where everyone dressed up. We even had a dance off at the end,” said Skrederstu. “We had people in their 70s all the way to teens working.”
Many people showed up to the event and the workout fundraiser raised $1,500 in donations.
Another aspect of fundraising came from a day of donations at Tickle Tree Cafe.
“We have a great relationship with Tickle Tree Cafe,” explained Skrederstu. “They also support us for community events and they also contribute with donations or donating gift certificates.”
Skrederstu was inspired to reach out to help the family not only because of their friendship but because he empathized with Gabby’s situation. She lost her father at 15, and Skrederstu lost his father when he was 11, making this loss hit home in more ways than one.
“Living in La Crescenta, there are a bunch of families who donate money for our college funds and also bring us food,” said Skrederstu. “I will never forget how this small town came to our aid when we were grieving.”
People are still encouraged to donate to Gabby’s GoFundMe page at http://www.gofundme.com/susca and if any businesses are interested in getting involved in helping the family’s cause, Chad Skrederstu can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.