Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Nick Fagnano Foundation Celebration of Life Monday, July 25 at Venice Beach

The Thrive in Joy Nick Fagnano Foundation’s first Celebration of Life Day

Mary and Jay Fagnano, founders of the Thrive in Joy Nick Fagnano Foundation, have expanded their celebration honoring the passing of their son, Nick Fagnano, to include other families who have lost children and young loved ones.

Planned for Monday, July 25, 2016, from 2:30-8:00 pm, the event was originally organized to mark their son Nick’s passing — he was struck by a freak lightning storm that hit Venice Beach on July 27, 2014. This year’s event expanded to include 10 other young people, but as the date nears, more families have requested a young loved one to be honored, according to the Fagnanos. As a result, they invite all who have lost children or young loved ones to join this community remembrance and celebration of life.

The event is a traditional day of beach activities, including volleyball, beach games, and picnic-style dinner that will include several moments of tribute, as well as a tent devoted to the memories of those being honored.

The event will take place on Monday, July 25, 2:30-8:00 p.m. at Venice Beach volleyball courts, just south of Washington Blvd. Parking is at the Venice Pier (at Driftwood). Schedule of events is below:

2:30            Beach games
5:00            Circle gathering to share memories of friends/relatives being honored
6:30            Inspirational talk by Varun Soni, Dean of Religious Life of USC
7:00            Musical tribute with a live acoustic band
7:45            Crowd will gather in the form of a heart for a sunset commemoration, concluding with a final song: Sing for Me, by Yellowcard, one of Nick’s favorite bands.

This year, the Fagnanos are joined by the Justin Carr Wants World Peace Foundation, founded by Susan and Darrell Carr, whose only child, Justin’s, life was cut short during a swim workout at Harvard Westlake School. The Carrs have been active in supporting others who have lost a child. The Conor Lynch Foundation was established by the family and friends of Conor Lynch, who was killed by a distracted driver while Conor was running with his Notre Dame High School cross country team. Representatives of the LA Country Lifeguards will also be there, as well as past and current members of the Notre Dame High School Knights and the Santa Barbara City College Vaqueros baseball teams (Nick Fagnano played for both teams).

In addition to family and friends of those being honored, the Fagnanos have also reached out to members of the Venice community who were touched by the 2014 beach tragedy. Last year, several hundred people attended the event.

“Nick was a joyous young man whose untimely death brought together an extended, eclectic group of family, friends, and community members who have been inspired to turn tragedy into joy and good works. Last year’s beach event was truly healing and joyful, and we hope to invite others who have lost loved ones to share in the community embrace of this event,” said Mary Fagnano in a press release sent to the Buzz.

About the Foundation. The Fagnanos created their foundation to continue the positive effect their son Nick had on all who knew him, by encouraging and rewarding character through education and recreation. The work of the Thrive in Joy Nick Fagnano Foundation is focused on causes Nick cared about. Thanks to its many active supporters, results to date include:

  • An endowment in Nick’s name providing an annual scholarship for a transfer student to USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy whose mission is to “improve the quality of life for people and their communities here and abroad.”  (Nick was a transfer student himself, about to begin his studies at USC Price which was his dream school since childhood)
  • The completion of the first two, of what will be many more, projects in the poorest Dominican Republic communities: Makeover of all 10 classrooms at Collegio de Tia Tatiana, a school for preschool through high school students in Herrera, one of the most underserved communities in Santo Domingo. And the first of a series of improvements to the facilities at the Remar orphanage that serves the most vulnerable children of Santo Domingo, many of whom are HIV positive. In addition, the foundation hopes to build an addition to Tia Tatiana creating a safe learning environment for children 3-6 years-old…and further improvements at the Remar orphanage to create a safe sports field that can accommodate baseball, soccer and basketball.
  • Scholarship awards for outstanding character to a graduating student at St.Brendan grade school in Los Angeles and Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks.
  • Sponsorship of the Students in Action Jefferson Awards Los Angeles Regional Chapter which provides leadership training for junior high school students to develop public service projects culminating in the spring competition, where the winning team gets to present their public service project in Washington D.C.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

Related Articles



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Latest Articles

.printfriendly { padding: 0 0 60px 50px; }