By Phil Corso
Bayside father Terrence Grogan still holds back tears when he tells the story of his 18-year-old daughter Katy, who was killed crossing a busy Florida highway in 2008 during a soccer tournament.
But her dream still lives on, he said, through an annual walkathon and scholarship fund in Katy’s honor. For five years now, Grogan’s walkathon has helped provide scholarships to students graduating from Sacred Heart School in Bayside to attend Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood, both schools where Katy was once a student.
“Only 18 years old, Kaitlyn had deeply touched so many lives in a multitude of positive ways,” the father said. “Although she is no longer with us, we hope to keep her positive influence alive by assisting graduates of Sacred Heart School to attend Archbishop Molloy HS through the Katy Grogan Scholarship Fund.”
Katy Grogan was an active student while in school, her father said, and spent much of her time playing sports and doing extracurricular activities like karate and serving as an altar server for the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish.
At the time of her tragic death, Molloy senior Kaitlyn Maureen Grogan was in Florida for the Bayside-based FC New York United Tigers soccer team’s tournament when she and a teammate were struck by a 2006 Acura driving along the busy Dale Mabry Highway. Grogan was pronounced dead at the scene while her teammate, Brittany Gruber, of West Islip, L.I., was taken to a nearby hospital and recovered.
It was at his daughter’s funeral that Terrence said he was inspired to establish a scholarship fund in Katy’s name to keep her ambitions alive for years to come.
“She was a daughter, sister and friend and the kind of person who puts the needs of others before her own,” he said. “She had dreams of going to medical school to become a physical therapist to satisfy her desire to help people.”
The fund’s first recipient, Julia Rosa, actually graduated from Molloy in 2012 with help from the four-year partial scholarship. The following year’s recipient, Adam Poplawski, will also graduate from Molloy this year.
“The schools will always be in the hearts of this family,” Grogan said. “We hope people walk this year and every year.”
This year’s event is scheduled for Wednesday, June 12, at 6 p.m at Raymond O’Connor Park across from Bayside HS, at 3nd Avenue and 210th Street. At 8 p.m., a food-and-drink reception will follow at the Knights of Columbus on Bell Boulevard, between 35th and 36th avenues. The bar at Knights of Columbus will be open throughout the event from 6 p.m. onward for anyone looking to participate without walking the park.
Donations will be collected at both the walkathon and Knights of Columbus after the event. Contributions can also be sent directly to Archbishop Molloy HS for the Katy Grogan Fund.
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4573.