Update (Friday, 5:30 p.m.): Funeral arrangements have been set for Amber Stulsky.
The family will receive friends on Monday, Sept. 9, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Southold. Graveside services will be held Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 11 a.m. at St. Agnes Cemetery in Greenport.
Original Story: Following the tragic death of a young Greenport girl, the North Fork community has pulled together to help support the family in mourning.
Amber Stulsky died Tuesday night in a car crash at the intersection of Route 48 and Chapel Lane, according to Southold Town police. She would have started fifth grade at Southold Elementary School Wednesday.
Two GoFundMe pages created Wednesday have collectively raised over $36,000 by midday Thursday.
“She was genuine, innocent, sweet, intelligent, talented, friendly, outgoing, and artistic,” a statement from page-creator Tony Raymond Breese said. “Our family will never truly recover from this, and even though she’s gone, we are all struggling to keep our faith.”
Another fundraiser has raised more than $26,000. The fundraiser, created by Greenport resident John Schott, had more than 300 donors as of Thursday afternoon.
Mr. Schott, 38, a lifelong friend of Amber’s father, Jason Stulsky, said he reached out to the family and received their consent before creating the page. In less than 24 hours, the page exceeded its target goal of $5,000.
“People went hand over fist because it’s just tragic,” he said. “This is a tremendous loss. The whole community is mourning. I don’t think I’ve cried more in less than 48 hours.”
Mr. Schott said he could not speak for the family, but all proceeds are guaranteed to go directly to funeral and memorial services. Steps are being taken to make sure the money directed to Amber’s grandmother.
He said he’s spoke to Mr. Breese online and both felt “humbled” by how quickly people jumped into action for the family.
“Everyone involved in our community should be lucky to live here and be able to share one another and come together like this,” he said.
Amber, 10, was a passenger in the rear seat of her mother’s 2003 Mercury Sable when it was struck while heading eastbound on Route 48 in Greenport shortly before 8:30 p.m., police said.
Southold Superintendent David Gamberg said faculty and staff at the school met Wednesday morning and were providing support to students and staff.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Amber’s family and friends,” he said. “She was a lovely girl, and our staff is heartbroken.”
Mr. Gamberg sent a letter to families in the district where he assured parents that the staff would provide support for the children.
The Mattituck-Cutchogue School District issued a statement to support its neighboring district.
“On behalf of the MC Board of Education and your friends and staff in our district, we extend our sincerest sympathy, trusting that remembrance by so many friends will bring Amber’s family and the Southold School District comfort. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.”
In instances where multiple crowdfunding efforts begin for a single cause, GoFundMe typically works with campaign organizers of each page to ensure all funds get to the correct beneficiary, according to Meghan Scripture, a regional communications spokeswoman for GoFundMe.
“We have reached out to the campaign organizers and we guarantee the funds will safely reach the Stulsky family,” she said in a statement Thursday.
Mr. Breese was not immediately available for comment.
Photo credit: Courtesy/GoFundme