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VIllage rallies to support Sierra Berhaupt's family

Colonie fundraiser and memorial to benefit family that lost daughter in swimming accident

Sierra Berhaupt, who died July 31 in a swimming accident, had a “radiant smile,” according to those who knew her.

Sierra Berhaupt, who died July 31 in a swimming accident, had a “radiant smile,” according to those who knew her.

After Sierra Berhaupt’s death on Sunday, July 31, members of the Village of Colonie sprung into action to organize an event to not only honor the memory of the 12-year-old, but also to help raise funds to support the family.

“The Village of Colonie has always been family oriented,” said Brian Casey, a former Colonie police officer and current Youth and Family Services director in the Village of Colonie. “Whether it’s a senior, a baby boomer or a kid or whatever, when something happens to a village resident it happens to all of us.”

On Saturday, Aug. 27, the Village of Colonie will be renting out the Family Recreation Center for a ziti dinner and bake sale from 5-9 p.m., in honor of Berhaupt, who died in her family pool after an accidental drowning incident. The event will be $10 for adults and $6 for children under 10-years-old. All of the proceeds will go towards a bank account set up at First National Bank of Scotia that has been set up in the family’s name.

“She put everybody before herself,” he said. “She had a radiant smile that lit the room up when she walked into it.”

Casey said he was contacted by Mike Ruede, a former Colonie police officer, and Bryan Curran, a current Colonie Police Officer and Village of Colonie assistant fire chief who was the first person on the scene on July 31, to ask if the village would help put on a fundraiser. Casey offered the recreation center without even checking with Mayor Frank Leak because he knew the mayor also views the village as big family.

The incident has taken its toll on some of the residents in the town, especially some of the emergency services people who responded to the incident.

Curran said he has been involved in Colonie EMS, the fire department and the police department for the past 20 years. He said he has dealt with several calls where someone has died, but this particular incident has gotten to him.

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