Fulton County mothers channel their grief into lifesaving effort

July 02, 2019 06:59 PM

NORTHAMPTON - The Great Sacandaga Lake is a favorite for boaters and waverunners. It's also a popular spot for snowmobilers in the winter.

Two men who loved to do both were lost just a few months apart in 2016. In July, Sean Craig was boating.

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"Sean was boating alone without a lifejacket," said Theresa DaBiere-Craig, Sean's mother.

Henry Ross passed two days before Christmas, hitting an ice heave while snowmobiling.

"It's the worst phone call. You don't ever want to get a phone call like that," said Maria Ross, Henry's mother.

The two mothers didn't know each other before their sons passed, but they became fast friends.

"There's a bond. There are some things that the loss of a child only the moms can understand or speak to and that's where you form that bond," said Ross.

Both decided to turn their grief to good.

"You can be bitter or better. We choose better," said DaBiere-Craig.

Better means raising money and awareness to provide lifesaving equipment to first responders.

For the Ross Memorial Fund, that means snowmobiles for police and firefighters - and an app to spot and report hazards.

For the Craig Memorial Fund, it's side scan sonar and lifevests for police, and life rings placed at locations all around the lake for easy access in an emergency.

"They've done everything in their power to make something positive come from the loss of their children," said Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino.

However, the mothers don't want credit for what they're doing in memory of their sons, preferring to thank those who've helped them do it.

"Don't make us out to be the heroes. It's all the people who've supported us," said DaBiere-Craig.

Ross agreed, "We just decided to make a difference."

Ross encourages boaters, ATVers and snowmobilers to download the free "Send It" app.

The Craig Fund is eager to share more life rings on area lakes.


Mark Mulholland

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