The community has rallied around the family of a Penn Valley toddler in the wake of her death last week, organizing fundraising dinners, bake sales and car washes and even donating haircuts to help defray funeral expenses.
Two-year-old Aubree Grace Greco drowned in a tragic accident while at a get-together with family and friends on July 25, said her godfather, Michael Beard.
“We want to make sure this doesn’t happen again” to any other family, Beard said Wednesday.
Aubree and her parents, Justin and Kristy, and siblings Trinity and Ethan were at a friend’s house near Smartsville, where a pool had been put in about six weeks ago.
The company was supposed to have installed sensors on the pool, the gate and the doors of the house, but had not done so before workers filled the pool, Beard said, adding they were supposed to return to complete the work but had not yet done so.
“Everyone swam all afternoon, and then they went inside” to prepare for a barbecue, he said.
Aubree, who wanted to go back and swim, apparently ran outside, opened the gate and jumped in the pool by herself.
“There was maybe five minutes where they didn’t know where she was,” Beard said. “It was just a small window of time.”
It was 7-year-old Ethan who ran to the pool and found his baby sister.
Kristy Greco, who is a CNA, tried to resuscitate her daughter, to no avail, Beard said.
Beard described his goddaughter as “the most genuine, caring, kind, funny, beautiful baby that I’ve ever met.”
Aubree was known for her love of knock-knock jokes and her love for being outside, he said.
“She always had big wet kisses ready for everybody,” he said, his voice catching. “She will never be forgotten.”
In the middle of the devastation suffered by Aubree’s loved ones, Beard said, the outpouring of support has been “eye-opening.”
“We’ve seen a huge uplifting from the community,” he said. “The outreach … it’s been heartwarming.”
An online fundraising campaign at http://www.gofundme.com/c6zcuctarget="_blank">http://www.gofundme.com/c6zcuc already has raised more than $5,000 toward funeral and medical expenses. Memorial contributions can also be sent to Bank of America, Account No. 325034778546.
A number of friends and family have organized fundraisers, including a spaghetti dinner Friday night at Siena’s Cafe, 1000 Plaza Drive, Grass Valley. The fundraiser will run from 5 p.m. until closing at Siena’s Cafe (formerly Perko’s Cafe), hosted by Leah Fowler and Lindsey Hardaway.
All proceeds will go to the family; dinners will be $25 and include spaghetti, salad and garlic bread; children 10 and younger eat free.
A car wash at Douglas Automotive, 420 Gold Flat Road, originally planned for Saturday, has been postponed because Aubree’s funeral is Saturday morning.
The fundraiser will be rescheduled, but if you still wish to drop donations there, seal donations in an envelope with the name “Kristy Greco” on the front; there is a mail slot on the front door.
Crystal Peterson, a local hairdresser, created a fundraiser at CiCi’s salon, 156 South Auburn St., Grass Valley, posting on Facebook, “I didn’t personally know Aubree but I do know the pain due to the loss of a child and I do know some of her family, and I would like to help them the only way I know how and that’s by giving my job skills to help raise money. … All haircuts will be the normal price ($15) but all proceeds done by me and any other people I can get to do this will go directly to the family.”
Her fundraiser will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.
There will be a rosary for Aubree at 7 p.m. Friday at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 235 Chapel St., in Grass Valley. A funeral mass will be at 10 a.m. Saturday.
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.