BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – It’s been nearly two years since a tragic car accident off the Scajaquada killed 3-year-old Maksym Sugorovskiy, when a car went off the road into Delaware Park.
His death brought major changes to the 198 along Ring Road where the accident happened.
“Things aren’t always promised to us and just appreciate every day that you can,” said Sugorovskiy’s cousin, Nicole Vidal-Engaurran.
Among the many lessons that Maksym Sugorovskiy left behind for the Buffalo community, to his family the most important one is, “be kind.”
Cousin and Giving Tree Foundation Board Member Elizabeth Graczyk Dagostino said, “His kind heart, his personality, he was so outgoing for such a little guy its so uncommon you don’t see that very often.”
When tragedy struck at the park the day Maksym was killed, it was a catalyst for a change. Now you see a speed reduction on the 198 and new barriers along Delaware Park, but the Sugorovskiy family wants Maksym to be remembered for a different kind of change.
Graczyk Dagostino said, “Our mission is to bring a kindness tour to the Buffalo area to serve several public schools and to spread a message of kindness. We’re excited to be able to bring that.”
Now they celebrate his life with a 5-K race called “the run for kindness” which travels the very route where Maksym died. Money raised will benefit Maksym’s Giving Tree Foundation which hopes to bring speakers to at least five local schools.
Vidal-Engaurran said, “He was just such a sweet little boy. Even a smile would brighten someones day, and that’s something Maksym would do.”
It’s fitting that first place in this race went to a Buffalo Public School teacher Erik Bohen, who knows how important kindness is to pass on to his students. He said, “It applies in every aspect of life, everybody here should practice it, and everybody will be better off.”
Mom, Mary Sugorovskiy started this venture to pass on the same positive light t that her son brought to those who knew him. Graczyk Dagostino said, “It takes a very strong person to be able to go through that, and grieve. At the same time, create something to remember someone by, something very lasting.”