It has been just a little over a 12 months since a home hearth in Niagara Falls, New York tragically claimed the lifetime of 23-year-old Patrick Romano Jr., a pupil at Niagara College and previous to that, a 2016 graduate of Toms River Excessive Faculty East.

Previous to that, the lifelong Toms River resident attended Intermediate East and Cedar Grove Elementary Faculties.

Within the months which have adopted, his household and shut buddies have discovered a technique to maintain his spirit and reminiscence alive in the area people and past by establishing the Patrick Romano Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable group.

“We give out one scholarship to his faculty, which is Niagara College, after which one scholarship to Toms River Excessive Faculty East,” Michael Gibson, considered one of his shut buddies with the non-profit, tells Townsquare Media Information. “We plan on, sooner or later, as we get extra funds, to offer extra scholarships however to additionally broaden. Patrick was very into serving to the mentally challenged, he would go to hockey clinics and assist them learn to play hockey, he would do some volunteer work.”

Gibson stated they want to work with the Brick Stars Challenger Hockey League and proceed on Patrick’s mission to assist these gamers study the sport of hockey.

“We would like to have the ability to donate gear or ice time for them, stuff like that, simply to honor him and what he was doing, however maintain it alive in his identify,” Gibson stated.

The Patrick Romano Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund will even be holding an upcoming fundraiser occasion — “The Massive Crimson Cup” — the place they’re inviting you to assist rejoice Patrick and have some enjoyable, identical to he all the time did.

“On July 16 at Winding River (Skating Heart, situated in Toms River), at 12:00, we’ll be having a charity hockey sport with reward public sale, with video games, leisure, Reside music, meals,” Gibson stated. “It will be our first celebration of Patrick in Toms River.”

The hockey sport will function gamers from Toms River skating towards gamers from Niagara College and following the sport, there will probably be a household skate session.

“It is one thing to deliver us collectively,” Gibson stated. “He was the one that might all the time have your again, it doesn’t matter what, he was a great man that you can all the time know that if you happen to had been in hassle, you had him coming proper behind you. After I began taking part in hockey my junior 12 months of highschool, so I had no expertise in any respect, he was the primary one which simply took time to take a seat there and educate me how to do that and that and he was all the time the primary one ready so that you can get off the ice. On the ice, he was an enforcer, however off the ice, he was the nicest child you may ever meet.”

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