The Dec. 1 crash that ended two young lives and badly injured two friends has also shaken a community. And Capital Region residents are now looking to help in any way they can, starting with two events this weekend.
On Saturday, a Movement of Silence event in Niskayuna will raise funds for the memorial scholarships in honor of the two Shenendehowa students who died — Chris Stewart and Deanna Rivers.
HRRT Bike Club and local bike and ski shop Plaine and Son are hosting the event, a one-mile walk/run/ride that starts at the Niskayuna High School at 10 a.m. Participants are encouraged to show up wearing green (Shen’s colors) and will complete a loop along Balltown Road, Rankin Road, Regent Street and Lexington Parkway before finishing at the school. Aside from a memorial speech at the start, the entire event will be in silence.
Heather Rizzi, HRRT founder and Plaine and Son manager, was compelled to organize the event because her own brother died in a tragic car accident 20 years ago. Jeremy Mason was 16 years old when he was hit by a car as he crossed the intersection of Balltown Road and Lexington Parkway. Saturday’s event will pass by the site of Mason’s accident.
No pre-registration is required for the event. Check-in begins at 9 a.m. in front of the high school, and there will be a box for donations. At the end of the event, the collected funds will be evenly distributed to Stewart’s and Rivers’ memorial scholarships. For more information, contact Heather Rizzi at 847-2419.
Bailey Wind, a Shaker High senior who was an accomplished diver, and Matt Hardy, a Shen senior who played football with Stewart, were badly injured in the Northway crash. The survivors were boyfriend and girlfriend of the two who died, and were returning from a double date.
Bright and early Sunday morning, the area’s best divers will dive for two hours straight to raise money for Wind’s medical costs. The 17-year-old crash survivor suffered five broken vertebrae in her neck, one of them completely shattered. She also needed two titanium plates put into her jaw, lost five teeth and may lose three more.
Wind is a member of the Shaker High School Varsity Dive team, Flip and Rip Diving and USA Diving, but with her neck in a brace is currently unable to dive. So more than 50 of her friends and teammates in the diving community will dive for her at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Robison Pool. Many more friends and family are expected to attend in a show of support.
Event sponsors include RPI, where Wind dives with the AAU diving team, Berkshire Bank, Flip and Rip Diving and several other local businesses.
Direct contributions can be made out to the Dive For Bailey Fund and mailed to Berkshire Bank at 576 North Greenbush Road, North Greenbush, N.Y. 12144. For more information, contact Mark Moran at 424-8806 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Marc Vachon at email@example.com.