Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – Friends, family and neighbors will hold a special event on Sunday to remember the toddler who lost his life after a tragic car accident in Hastings.
Two-year-old Randy Derochie Junior and 19-year-old Kay-Lynee Parkhurst were killed after their car crashed into a tree and caught fire on Bradford Road in July.
Randy's mother and grandmother hope his death can be a lesson to others.
“I would recommend to all parents just love your kids, cherish your kids, take as many pictures as you can because that's the only thing I have left,” said Toni Jones, the mother of Randy.
“If there's ever a time you walk out and the last thing you say to a child or a grandchild is not I love you - you should be ashamed of yourself. They should know you love them no matter what's going on,” said Melissa Jones, the grandmother of Randy.
Randy’s mother says if there was ever a time to hold your child closer - or perhaps ask for a little more protection from above, there's no time like the present.
“I had seen him earlier that day. We were playing. I gave him a kiss. Told him I loved him and never got to see him again, so it’s definitely hard,” Toni said.
While Randy was only two-years-old, his life was filled with joy as he was always wearing a smile that could brighten anyone’s day.
“He was amazing and he touched a lot of people and I hope that people are touched by this and realize how short life is,” Toni said.
The Hastings community will hold a special celebration to remember Randy's life on Sunday to help his family cover the costs incurred by his sudden death.
“Three of my closest friends decided that since there wasn't going to be enough money to help get through this, they decided they wanted to throw a benefit,” Melissa explained.
Despite their loss, the family is now giving hope to those that need it most.
“He was our special kid and every year we will do something to make another child happy every year. We will find a way,” Melissa said.
The benefit will be at Jake's Grub & Grog at 7 East River Rd. in Central Square from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 8.
Advance sales tickets are $12 and tickets will cost $15 at the door.
Ticket prices include dinner and raffles.
Organizers are still in need of bigger donations like a bike and a TV for the raffles.
If you'd like to help, you can contact Melissa Jones at (315) 247-1513.