Community mourns loss of Truckee boy
As the community grieves for the loss of 12-year-old Gabe Sorrentino, many have pulled together in memory of his spirit and to offer support to his family.
Gabe, who was severely injured in a traffic accident last week, died Sunday. He was a sixth-grade student at Sierra Mountain Middle School.
Fellow SMMS students have been offering support and condolences since first learning Gabe was in a coma early last week, said Cindy Flores, SMMS guidance counselor.
“Right now there’s a lot of things in the works with memorial types of things,” said Flores. “Working on memorials helps empower the kids. They can try to channel their grief into helping others.
“Our school and our staff and all the kids and teachers really have a heartfelt sympathy for Gabe’s family,” she said.
Community shows support for family
Students have been making posters, writing poems and transformed the school trophy case to display things to remember and celebrate Gabe’s life. Gabe’s homeroom classmates are working on an idea for a project called “Gabe’s Garden” with the help of parents who are landscapers.
The school learned Friday that Gabe was not going to survive when his father issued a statement to the school.
“It was the hardest day of my life,” said Flores. Counselors from other district schools came to be there for the students and teachers to help them express their grief for the loss of their friend.
“Grief comes at different times for different kids. We will be alert to kids who are feeling grief over the next three weeks,” she said.
Others in the community are reacting to the loss in ways of support as well.
Beth and Tom Edgeman, friends of the Sorrentino family, helped organize the Gabe Sorrentino Fund at SierraWest Bank to aid the family.
“I’ve been going around to all of the merchants and they’ve been a godsend. They’ve been donating money and meals and I have not spoken with one person who has not offered their support,” said Beth Edgeman. “It was so touching to know that our town has pulled together so much to help.”
“We’re going to see that (the Sorrentinos) get everything they need. The family is so wonderful and in turn we want to show our support,” she said.
Richard and Jo Anne Amsbaugh, also friends to the Sorrentinos, started the Gabe Sorrentino Musical Scholarship Fund at SierraWest. Because Gabe was musically inclined, the fund will help give scholarship money to music students who may need help with such things as buying instruments or college tuition.
Donations made be made at any SierraWest branch.
Bill Akers, owner of Nik and Willies, has organized a sign-up for individuals, families or groups to provide meals for the Sorrentino family at least through the month of July. People interested in helping with meals can go by the restaurant to sign up, or call 587-0421.
The Truckee Youth Theater, a non-profit Truckee theater group, will dedicate its upcoming show “Scene Showcase” in Gabe’s memory. Proceeds from the show will benefit the Gabe Sorrentino Fund. Many of the kids in the theater group were close friends of Gabe. The show runs June 4 – 5 at Tahoe-Truckee High School beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets can be bought at the door.
A celebration of Gabe’s life and Mass was planned for Wednesday afternoon at TTHS, followed by a cemetery prayer at Sierra Mountain Cemetery. While Gabe was still in the hospital last week, more than 500 people attended a community prayer service for Gabe and his family at the middle school.
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