Remembering Olivia Bondy: Ski club donates to area fire safety program
By BEcky Brooks
ATTICA — Members of one family who lost a daughter in a Reed Township fire on Nov. 27, 2012 are working with friends to make a difference in the lives of children in the Seneca East Local Schools.
On Nov. 27 last year, Olivia Ryan Bondy, age 11, died in a house fire with her mother, step-father and two younger brothers. Holly and Joseph Hamilton and their boys, Jaxon and Linkin Hamilton all died in the fire, which received regional news coverage.The Hamilton family lived in the Seneca East Local School District.
The family was remembered in Bellevue with a candlelight vigil in Robert Peters Park after the fire as the family had lived and worked in the Bellevue community.
Olivia’s father, Ryan Bondy, and her stepmother, Billie, of Norwalk, were at the Attica-Venice-Reed Volunteer Fire Department Thursday afternoon where friends from the Sandusky Ski Club presented $1,000 to the AVR and Republic volunteer fire departments to use to help protect children and area residents from house fires.
Kim Mohr, a member of the ski club, said the group had raised funds and donated half to the women’s shelter in Sandusky and chose to donated $500 to the fire departments in memory of Olivia.
The Bondy family had been members of the ski club, including Olivia.
Mohr also said the $500 raised was matched by an anonymous donation make the gift to the fire department $1,000.
The money will go into a fund for smoke alarms.
“We reached all the Seneca East students this year,” AVR Fire Chief Brent Meyers explained. He said the two fire departments worked with Seneca East Local School elementary principal Brad Powers.
Powers, who also was at the AVR fire department Thursday, said that 575 smoke alarms were sent home with students.
“Through the school, every family was able to receive,” the principal reported.
Meyers said additional fire alarms were also handed out besides those given out through the school and more than 600 had been put into the community since the death of Olivia Bondy and the Hamiltons. In the future, more smoke alarms will be given to families who move into the district and families who still may not have them.
Ryan Bondy shared that his daughter had only been skiing for a couple years, but she started young.
“At Mansfield, she went down the big one,” he said, noting she had exceeded the bunny hill in skill.
“I think it’s a wonderful donation by a group of great people,” he said about the check presentation Thursday.
“It’s a first step on a commitment on behalf of our inner circle,” he added. Bondy, whose wife and father, Russ, were there for the donation presentation, said his family intends to see that the loss of Olivia makes a difference. He added they are looking at sponsoring a 5K run and other activities.
“We plan on doing things in the future,” Bondy added.