WANTAGH, N.Y. (PIX11) — The Long Island community came together Wednesday for a fundraiser event to support the Farmingdale High School marching band as they continue recovering — both physically and emotionally — from that tragic bus crash that killed their band director and chaperone two weeks ago.
Kyla Koch is a Farmingdale High School alumnus who marched in the school’s band just a few years ago under band director Gina Pelletierre. She said she was shaken after learning Pelletierre and chaperone Beatrice Ferrari died in that bus accident.
“Hearing the news just definitely broke me and my sister too,” said Koch. “We all have that connection, and just like seeing her, Ms. P and Ms. Ferrari, it was devastating.”
Pelletierre and Ferrari were on that bus with more than 40 students heading to band camp. As students are left with painful memories, the community is stepping up to help them get through such a difficult time.
“They’re 15, 16, 17-year-old kids that were supposed to be on the trip of a lifetime,” said Nassau County Commissioner of Police Patrick Ryder. “Something that you have great memories from, and it was all taken away from them because of the tragic accident. So again, the community is affected by it, but the community showed their support.”
The event also brought together band coaches from other schools, who stood in solidarity with a community in grief.
“We are also wearing green ribbons in support for Farmingdale,” said Megan Connolly, band coach of Mineola High School. “We really just want to make sure we’re all one family even though we’re from a different school.”
All proceeds of the funds raised will go to the Farmingdale marching band, who will decide how they want to use the money.