John Martinelli of Mattituck has organized a benefit featuring a flag football tournament and family-friendly fall activities to help support a memorial fund in memory of his grandson Dominic Trionfo, who died in a Jet Ski accident in 2012. Dominic was 14.
Mr. Martinelli and Dominic’s mother and stepfather, Sandra and Noel Monat, will host the first annual “Dom’s Day” this Sunday, Oct. 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Cathedral Pines in Middle Island. The event will feature football and other games, pumpkin and face painting, chinese auctions, a 50-50 raffle and water safety demonstrations.
Mr. Martinelli said the family established the Dominic Memorial Fund for student scholarships and to raise awareness about boater safety. (For more information, visit dominicmemorialfund.org.) “Over the last three years, we’ve raised money for student scholarships at Longwood,” he said. “We then created the memorial fund after we decided to expand fundraising efforts.”
Dominic was a Longwood High School freshman from Middle Island who had played junior varsity football. On May 20, 2012, he was riding a Jet Ski by himself for the first time in Peconic Bay, near the end of Bay Avenue in Mattituck, just before 2 p.m. when he struck the anchor chain of his family’s boat.
After the accident, Dominic was rushed ashore, treated by members of the Mattituck Fire Department rescue squad and taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, where he died.
The family had purchased the Jet Ski in 2010. For the next two years, Dominic was his grandfather’s passenger on the watercraft and even referred to himself on Facebook as his grandfather’s co-captain.
Dominic had passed a boating safety course after turning 14 in October 2012. Fourteen is the minimum age required by the state to operate a vessel.
Mr. Martinelli said he and his family have been very grateful for the community’s support. Over 2,000 people attended Dominic’s funeral, he said, and a bench overlooking the water at Strong’s Marina in Mattituck was dedicated in his memory last summer.
To this day, Longwood football players also wear memorial bracelets and even dubbed themselves as the “Domsquad,” he added.
“Everyone has been very supportive,” Mr. Martinelli said. “He had good football friends, even though he was like the Rudy of the team.”