YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. - A crowd of more than 100, including friends, family members and community members, came out in the wind and rain Saturday morning to celebrate the life of Frances Ghelarducci, a Somers teaching assistant who was killed in a car crash last November on Route 6 in Mahopac.
Teams, as well as individuals, participated in the 'Forever Fran Walk for MADD,' at FDR State Park in Yorktown to raise funds in Ghelarducci's honor, with proceeds going to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Ghelarducci, 57, of Mahopac, was killed Saturday, November 14, 2015, when the Jeep she was driving was struck by a Dodge Caravan driven by Richard O'Keefe of Mahopac. O'Keefe was charged with second-degree aggravated vehicular homicide and DWI.
It was Luann Grieco, a colleague at the Primrose Elementary School (where Ghelarducci worked for nearly 15 years), who then started attending MADD meetings, and put the event together.
"We're here because a good friend, Fran, was killed in a drunken driving crash," Grieco told Daily Voice. "She was very loved by our community, and we wanted to do something special for her. Today we gather in the pouring rain, and we have over 150 people donating, and more than 100 of us are here today. And Somers Rocks.
"They all rock for coming out in the rain," she added. "And it's all of Primrose, and all the other Somers schools in the district who showed up here today, and are family... I'm very overwhelmed that in this weather everyone still showed up. Dr. Blanch (Superintendent of Somers School District) always says Somers Rocks - and he's right."
Primrose's 'Forever Fran' team - consisting of 129 members, including approximately 40 employees from Somers schools - was the No. 1 fund-raising group at the event, Kohl's Cares was second, and Mother Mary was No. 3.
More info on the event and MADD is available at www.walklikemadd.org .