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Sturbridge reaching out to support Hoy family

July 16, 2009
STURBRIDGE — Still shaken by the tragic passing of one of their own, Sturbridge residents are organizing a benefit in support of the Hoy Family.

Two-year-old Eli James Hoy died Tuesday, July 7 as the result of an accident at his family's home.

In immediate response, members of the Sturbridge community began formulating ideas to show their support to his family — Pamela, Jordan and their three remaining children. An account dedicated to Eli was opened at Hometown Bank into which family and friends can make donations. The use of the account will be at the discretion of the family according to Matt Sosik, president and CEO of Hometown.

Now, volunteers have stepped forward to put together a community pancake breakfast, the proceeds of which will also be given to the Hoys.

"I personally don't know that family," said Linda Amadio, one of the breakfast organizers. "I just felt as a parent, as a day care provider, as a human being, that something needed to be done."

Originally scheduled to be held before the end of the month, the breakfast was moved to Sunday, Sept. 13, at Burgess Elementary School. There will be four sittings at the event, 8, 9, 10, and 11 a.m.

"It's going to $10 a ticket," Amadio said. "We'll also be doing a 50/50 [raffle] at each sitting."

After an initial e-mail seeking volunteers for the event, Amadio said she was inundated with responses from people willing to donate their time.

"Thank God we don't have a lot of tragedies like this," Amadio said. "I think when we do have a tragedy, we live in a community that can pull together like this."

Now more than 50 volunteers strong, Amadio said the only thing needed to complete the benefit now is a large griddle.

Anyone willing to donate the needed cooking equipment can contact Amadio at oldfarmdaycare@yahoo.com.

Laurie Placella, another organizer of the event and friend of the Hoy family, said the breakfast — and the accompanying outpouring of community emotion — is an example of how close the Sturbridge community is.

"There were just a lot of people talking about 'What can we do? What can we do?' and I think it just makes everyone feel better to be able to do something like that," Placella said.

"For both Linda and I, we just felt like the community was looking for something to do to make them feel better and to just show our support for this family," Placella continued. "I just think that it would be a great way for the community to show support for the family."

Paul Girard, a close friend of the Hoys, sympathisizes with them on a level very few, if any other, people can understand. He also lost a young child.

"They are some of the nicest people you will ever meet," Girard said. "This is evident in the community's overwhelming response to the accident."

"They are a loving, kind family and are always willing to help when needed," Girard continued. "When my wife and I lost our baby girl, Pam volunteered to bring us a meal and watch our son Carter. It breaks our hearts to see them face this tragic accident and I would like them to know that we are all here for them."

To make a donation to the Hoys via the pancake breakfast, or to reserve tickets, Amadio can be reached at the same e-mail address. Tickets will also be available at Amcomm Wireless at 135 Main St., Sturbridge as early as next week.

Donations can also be made to the Hoy Family Fund at any branch of Hometown Bank.

News staff writer Christopher Tanguay may be reached at (508) 909-4132, or by e-mail at ctanguay@stonebridgepress.com.

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