Community rallies to support family of Smithtown East student-athlete


Donations are pouring in for the family of a high school field hockey player from St. James who died unexpectedly on Monday.

Valerie Kratochvil, 16, was a junior at Smithtown East High School, competing on the field hockey and track & field teams. This fall, she was selected as an All-County musician. Kratochvil was also a member of the travel field hockey club at Long Island Field Hockey.

Mallory Guerin, director of Long Island Field Hockey, established a GoFundMe page on Tuesday to “help with financial difficulties for Valerie’s family.”

“We are reaching out to our friends, family, and community to ask for your support during this incredibly difficult time,” Guerin wrote. “No parent should face such worries during this unimaginable loss. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.”

With over 400 donations, the fundraising effort raised more than $20,000 in its first 24 hours.

“We will miss Val’s smile and her never give attitude on the field,” Amanda Beisler commented on the GoFundMe page. “Such a beautiful, talented and kind human. Praying for all of her family and friends.”

In a heartfelt Instagram post on Tuesday, Long Island Field Hockey fondly remembered Kratochvil.

“We are heartbroken to hear of the passing of our U19 Athlete Val Kratochvil unexpectedly last night,” the post reads. “Val was an incredibly hard working athlete, always looking for ways to improve. Please keep her family and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers. We will miss you 💚. LIFH Family Forever”

Top photo: GoFundMe

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