Hundreds show support for Fairport coach whose family lost home to fire
FAIRPORT, N.Y. — A family who lost everything is seeing massive support from the community. Even strangers are donating money and sending well wishes after a Fairport basketball coach and his family lost their home to a three-alarm fire.
More than $70,000 has been raised in a GoFundMe campaign for the coach. Friends of his say it’s been a tough time, but the positive support from neighbors has been incredible.
“You don’t know where to turn, you don’t have a place to sleep in, you don’t have food — you know they’ll be at the store, they don’t have Q-Tips, you know what I mean — they don’t have anything,” said Scott Fitch, Fairport varsity basketball coach.
The house was a total loss. three different fire departments responded that night, and thankffully no one was injured.
Fitch says he got a text at 3:30 a.m., the night of the fire. He said Coach Craig Howe has always been more than a colleague to him.
“I think we’re really close — we work together with the basketball thing, but we’re also dear friends,” Fitch said.
Naturally, his first thought was, how do I help this family out?
Turns out hundreds of others had the same idea.
“People have been amazing — the other sports teams have rallied, and given Craig gift cards, reached out in support,” Fitch said.
Basketball coaches from across Monroe County, like Coach Troy Prince from Hilton, have been sharing their support.
“We’ve known each other for years through a lot of different channels,” Prince said, adding, “I know that the Victor basketball program, Pittsford Mendon, Pittsford Sutherland, Penfield, Batavia, and others have stepped up and made donations directly to the GoFundMe.”
Even strangers have donated.
Eriketa Cost: “This is why you do what you do, all of you, right?”
Fitch: “Yeah, think it’s why he does what he does, he’s a giver, to see people give back and see all the lives he’s touched, and people reach out all the ex-alumni has been really powerful for him.”
“Just very good people, and when you hear about that, you just want to get out, try to help people that make a living helping other people,” Prince said.
Coach Fitch has been taking over practices and games for the junior varsity basketball game for the time being. He says Coach Howe stopped by for a game Wednesday and was thrilled to see the support from students and staff.
As for the GoFundMe, it appears to have closed for now.