A favorite saying of Leah Kuczinski, a New Hyde Park Memorial High School sophomore who died in a go-kart accident in February, was “make every second count,” her family said in a letter to Blank Slate Media.
To honor that, the Kuczinski family established the Leah Kuczinski Legacy Foundation, which they said “will carry on her spirit and make a difference in the lives of others.”
Those interested in supporting the foundation can make a donation at 1980 Miller Place, Merrick, New York 11566.
Kuczinski’s mother, Maria, said the family is in the process of setting up a website for the foundation, too.
Kuczinski was a cheerleader and junior varsity field hockey captain, according to Newsday, which reported that she was killed over February break in a go-kart accident at the Palm Beach International Raceway in Jupiter, Florida.
Part of the donations raised will go toward a scholarship fund for a New Hyde Park Memorial High School student.
“Every year we’ll give a scholarship to someone who radiates what my daughter was,” Maria Kuczinski said. “Kind and caring and loving and a friend to everyone.”
Other donated funds will go toward helping children with special needs, an interest of her daughter, she said.
The family plans on constructing handicap playgrounds for children with special needs, Maria Kuczinski said.
To start, she said her family is going to make sure there is at least one piece of equipment in every playground in the area that is handicap accessible.
Maria Kuczinski said her daughter also loved to help animals.
Donations will also go toward helping animals in some way, she said.
Leah Kuczinski was honored at a February vigil held at the school following her death.
In addition to members of the community, Hailee Steinfeld attended the vigil after Tiffany Salcedo, a Spanish teacher at New Hyde Park Memorial, asked the singer to come on Twitter.
Kuczinski had tickets to attend Steinfeld’s concert in July.