It is over a year and a half since the passing of Adriana Grace, age 14, of South Williamsport, but her family and friends continue to spread gratitude in honor of their "kind and giving" daughter.
"[Adriana] was such a kind and giving person that it has been instrumental in our grief process to keep that legacy alive by continuing to raise money in order to give to others in need, as well as charities that impacted her life," said Adriana's aunt, Jamie Pike.
In the past, Adriana's family has raised funds for the following organizations that represent Adriana and her legacy: The Lycoming County SPCA, a place Adriana enjoyed to visit; The Ronald McDonald House, an organization that provided items and support to her family when Adriana, at only 2 lbs, lived in an incubator at the Danville Hospital; The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, an organization for the cause which cost Adriana her life, but can support someone else's choice to live; South Williamsport High School, which will honor one senior each year with a scholarship in Adriana's honor.
In addition to these organizations, the family maintains a small portion of the funds for distribution to local families in need after a devastating loss. According to Pike, "We were so touched by the support we received after our loss that we want to be able to provide the same to others in their time of need."
In the latest community effort to honor Adriana, Boom City Brewing Co., Williamsport, will host a fundraiser this Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 26 and Oct. 27. Fifteen percent of purchases will be devoted to the Adriana Grace Memorial Fund.
The family hopes that community support for Adriana will highlight other efforts in the community — a fitting example of Adriana's giving spirit. "We hope people will come out to support this great event, not only to support our efforts, but to also support this amazing local small business who is being so generous by partnering with us," said Pike.
"There are many businesses who have limited hours or have closed due to limited work staff, and this business has stood up during such a challenging time for businesses to partner with us – we are very touched and impressed by their generosity."
Thanks to Adriana's family, her legacy now reframes the subject of suicide as an opportunity to embrace kindness and strength.
Pike spoke to the message behind their fundraising, revealing their altered perception of loss: "We, as a family, have also been so blessed and impacted by the generosity and kindness of friends and strangers through our grief process that we want to show that kindness to others. We only hope that as we continue to raise funds which allows us to give to charities and provide random acts of kindness to others, that we can give light and hope to someone who needs it."
Give light to inspire life — that is the message of Adriana's legacy.