BERLIN, Conn. (WTNH) – Chris cares about hunger and poverty. “We built houses for Habitat for Humanity in the south end of Hartford,” says Rocco Labbadia, about a non-profit in his son’s name which is now highlighting developmental disabilities.
An upcoming event will shine a light on autism.
“Chris Cares” is an ever changing effort, going where the need is, year after year, in Chris Labbadia’s memory.
Chris always cared.
“Someone had left a wallet behind so he drove a town over to return it,” says Rocco, Chris’ Dad, remembering a tragic night in 2016. “He went a half hour out of his way then a quarter mile down the road, (had a ) one car accident, lost control, hit a tree and lost his life.”
“It really is a nightmare,” he continues. “You can grieve in any manner you wish, there’s no wrong or right way to do that….and then I think you almost become empowered in the fact that your son or daughter would want you to move forward and do something.”
So, the Labbadia’s formed a scholarship fund for a Berlin High School student.
Applicants write an essay about how their life mirrors what Chris believed in.
“Which was being loyal to your friends, passionate about what you do loving and caring of your family, accepting of all people and truly trying to be a good person,” says Rocco.
Inspired by a family member – the upcoming Chris Cares Golf Tournament will raise awareness about autism.
“And what it means to live when you’ve aged out of schooling,” adds Rocco.
The mission – which got the attention of Pats Nation – is to share Chris’s unique spirit, hosting events all about love and consideration.
“Ultimately the envelope that surrounds it is Chris cares for kindness,” says Rocco with emotion. “What’s so bad about pushing some kindness?”
There’s still room to attend the dinner after the golf tournament at Berlin’s Shuttle Meadow in July.
Click here for more information.