Long Island community raises $140K for toddler after tragic Farmingdale bus crash


The Long Island community and beyond has raised nearly $140,000 on behalf of the toddler whose mother died when a bus carrying Farmingdale High School students to band camp rolled off the highway and down a ravine in upstate New York.

Gina Pellettiere, who led Farmingdale High School’s marching band for more than a decade, was the sole provider to her 2-year-old son Joseph Emmanuel Pellettiere.

Pellettiere, 43, and retired teacher Beatrice Ferrari, 77, were killed Sept. 21 when the charter bus they were riding in veered off Interstate 84 and crashed down an embankment in the town of Wawayanda, northwest of New York City. Dozens of students were injured in the wreck.

“A loving mother. A passionate teacher. A laugh and smile that will be forever cherished,” reads the GoFundMe page, describing Gina Pellettiere.

The educator was further defined as “A personality that could light up a town. A reliable friend. A mentor. Skilled musician. Fearless. Ambitious. Full of life. Irreplaceable.”

This GoFundMe was established to help the Pellettiere family maintain the quality of life young Joseph had while his mother was alive.

“Let us continue to carry on Gina’s legacy of love and light,” it says on Joseph’s GoFundMe page, which now has more than 2,300 donations.

“This loss is so profound and if there’s any bright light, it would be that her beautiful son will have everything he needs in life,” commented Jennifer Cestaro, a donor.

Another donor, Christopher Ripley wrote, “Gina lit up the world and we are so grateful to have known her. May her son feel her love and the support of family and friends for the rest of his life.”

Top photo: Ellen Pellettier and her son Joseph (GoFundMe).

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