Fundraiser held for Schoharie limo crash memorial site

June 03, 2019 09:36 AM

A fundraiser was held in Amsterdam on Saturday to help raise money for the Reflections Memorial site in Schoharie.

"We've come to a place where now we're honoring our children," said Jill Richardson Perez, the mother of limo crash victim Matthew Coons.


Richardson Perez lost her son, Matthew Coons, 33, in a devastating limo crash in Schoharie. Coons was one of 20 victims who died in the tragic accident in October.

"We've lost husbands and wives and some of them were parents. It's unimaginable. Until you've lost a child, you don't know," said Richardson Perez.

As the community continues to mourn the 20 lives lost, a foundation was formed to help memorialize the victims.

Dozens of community members gathered on Saturday at River Link park in Amsterdam to help raise money for what will be a permanent memorial site in Schoharie. The fundraiser included live music, food trucks, and a silent auction.

"All of the funds raised here will go directly to the Reflections Memorial Foundation to build the memorial," said Joshua Loden, owner of the Apple Barrel Restaurant.

The memorial will be built at the crash site next to the Apple Barrel Restaurant. Loden also sits on the Reflections Memorial Foundation board. He says members wanted to design a site which will best honor and include personal memories of the victims.

"I'm amazed at how quickly the plans have come together," said Richardson Perez.

Included in the site will be the name and birth date of each victim.

Richardson Perez says although her son died too soon, she is deeply touched by the thoughtfulness of the foundation and the community.

"The foundation really created the memorial. It was always for the families. So it started with the families input," said Loden.

Plans for the memorial site are expected to be completed by the one year anniversary of the crash in October.


Brooke Selby

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