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Fundraiser announced to support Farmingdale High School marching band, as members play together again

Fundraiser announced to support Farmingdale HS marching band
Fundraiser announced to support Farmingdale HS marching band 02:07

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- A fundraiser was announced Monday to support the Farmingdale High School community after last month's deadly bus crash

All proceeds will go toward the Farmingdale marching band, which lost its beloved director Gina Pellettiere and chaperone Beatrice Ferrari in the crash on the way to an annual band retreat in Pennsylvania. The band will then make sure the money goes to all those in need.  

The community is continuing to show its support with flowers, ribbons and flags at half staff - Farmingdale is "Daler strong."

There are memories of Pellettiere and Ferrari as high school students rally around their marching band classmates who were released over the weekend from hospitals in Westchester and Long Island. 

"We are very proud of them for getting through such a difficult time," Dr. Dylan Stewart of Maria Fareri Children's Hospital said. 

They're now home with their parents, on a long road to recovery. 

"All of those kids are going to make it, but some of them are going to have mental issues, emotional issues. Some are going to have continued medical issues, and Gina left a young son who needs to be cared for," Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said. 

Blakeman announced a Wednesday fundraiser at Mulcahy's Pub and Concert Hall in Wantagh. All proceed will benefit the band. New York sports teams are donating memorabilia for auctions and raffles. 

Parents of the most gravely injured said they couldn't be more grateful neighbors and friends are making monetary pledges. 

"The fundraiser, I think that's a plus. Anything to lift their spirits is a positive," one person said. 

"Bringing people together through a tragedy to help enrich the arts for the children," said another. 

"I think it's a fantastic idea. Great for the community, great for the families of those affected," one person said. 

The first of what is expected to be many lawsuits is filed against the charter bus company from Nesconset and its driver, alleging negligence and careless actions. 

Neither the bus company, Regency Transportation, nor its 59-year-old driver, who lives in Centereach, returned our calls for comment. 

"It's going to raise money for the marching band, to where they feel it need to go. The families who are out there, only a few times in life, you get to do the right. This is the right thing," Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said. 

The fundraiser begins Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. 

Freshman band members gathered over the weekend to play music for the first time since the crash nearly two weeks ago.

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