Church establishes fund to help fire victims rebuild

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO Twelve-year-old Jessie Bakanic looks out over the remains of her family's home.

St. Patrick R.C. Church in Southold has created a new fund to help Janine and John Bakanic, whose home burned to the ground on Feb. 25, rebuild.

The Bakanics had been in Riverhead with their 12-year-old daughter, Jessie, when the fire broke out in the house they built from scratch 10 years ago. No one was injured, but after the fire was out the family realized that their insurance policy covered only the cost of the building materials, not to replace the structure.

St. Patrick R.C. Church has agreed to sponsor the fund, and parishioner Anthony Capuano will act as the fund administrator.

Donation checks can be made out to St. Patrick R.C. Church and mailed to Mr. Capuano, at 8 Evergreen Dr., Manorville, NY 11949.

Mr. Capuano is asking donors to include a return address on their donations so they can receive a receipt for tax purposes, and an e-mail address so they can receive updates on the project’s progress.

“All of you who are willing to help this cause will be invited to join this family at their new home to see what you have helped to rebuild,” he said in a donation solicitation letter.

“Those of you who have been fortunate enough to personally know this family, either through relation or business, know how horrific this is for these wonderful people,” he wrote. “This is a man and a family who are constantly giving to others every day and ask for nothing in return. They have exemplified a model for family life and how we should all treat one another … I cannot say enough of the unconditional compassion they exhibit to everyone around them.”

Click here to read the previous story.

[email protected]