Remembering Steven

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:52

    A tragedy brings hope and benefits to area children Sparta - Steven Bieganousky thinks his son, also named Steven, would have liked it. After all, the younger Bieganousky was always dedicating time to make children laugh. Steven, 21, died in a car accident on Easter Sunday. Now his father wants to make sure his son's devotion to children lives on. The elder Bieganousky has founded the Steven P. Bieganousky Foundation for Children, an organization dedicated to raising funds to benefit area youngsters. "I believe if Steven had lived, he would have wound up working somewhere in this same niche," said Bieganowsky. "I have witnessed when he was alive, and also have heard stories since his death, about how he has spoken up when he saw a child being mistreated. The world will miss him, but I feel through the foundation, we can contribute to those children at risk under his name." The money raised through the new foundation will be distributed to local agencies providing educational, recreational and health programs for children in Sussex County. Those who knew Steven believe the foundation's goal match the young man's dreams in life. "He was drawn to kids in a fatherly fashion," said Newton resident and friend Jessie Olivencia, "When Steven would come over, he would always take the initiative to play with my four-year-old son Wilson. He would get on the floor and play with him, spending more time with him than with the adults. My son loved him and looked forward to seeing him. Losing him has been hard." The foundation's first beneficiary is Ginnie's House, an advocacy group for abused and neglected children based in Newton. "It's the perfect place. Ginnie's House gets grants from the state that pay salaries but all else is through private donations," said Bieganousky. "My hope is for this foundation to grow to the point where we are donating to two or three organizations a year." Although the Bieganouskys know nothing will ever make things the way they were when Steven was around, they believe the new foundation is a fitting tribute and the perfect legacy of a son taken too soon. "During the funeral, I heard countless stories of how Steven had positively touched people's lives. I was so proud. It was heart warming. It was what kept me going," said Bieganousky. "I always knew he was special. He is my hero." Donations to the Steven P. Bieganousky Foundation for Children can be sent to SPB Foundation, 26 Hickory Trail, Sparta, NJ