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Somers Landmark Celebrates 'Stephanie Day'

Sunday saw a steady stream of customers stepping up to the counter at Somers’ King Kone, where all of the day’s earnings and tips were earmarked for the Stephanie Crispinelli Humanitarian Fund .

Stephanie, 19, lost her life two years ago while doing volunteer work in Haiti with a team of fellow students and professors.

The team of volunteers had arrived just two days before the horrendous earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people on January 12, 2010.

The search for her body continued for more than two weeks after the quake.

Deb and Brian Hopkins, owners of the 1950s era ice cream and food stand, hold “Stephanie Day” annually because Stephanie worked there during the summer of 2009.

“We really miss her,” Deb Hopkins said. “She touched a lot of lives.” Last year they raised $9,000.

Stephanie’s brother, Nick Crispinelli, explained that his sister’s fund concentrates on helping the poor because Stephanie was dedicated to humanitarian issues. “The first place she went was Jamaica,” Nick said. “That’s where she found her passion.” Upon returning to college, Stephanie changed her major to Human Services.

So far, the fund has helped build a school in central Jamaica, sent medical relief to children in Nicaragua, sponsored a number of humanitarian “mission trips” for university students, and distributed Steph’s Caring Bears to hundreds of hospitalized children.

Building another school in Jamaica is the fund’s current priority.

Stephanie’s father, Lenny, said, “The community has been very supportive. It is so heartwarming.”

Stephanie’s Second Annual Softball Tournament will be held on Sunday, July 10 from noon to 6 p.m. at Reis Park in Somers. For more information, call Mia Mirabile, 914-224-7127.

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