“No parent should ever lose a child. It’s not the correct order of things,” said Anna Casador of Cranston. She and her son, Eric, shared a similar passion – to help those in need. Yet, in October of 2007, she lost her son Eric Medeiros from a car accident.
“That day, it all stopped, my world came crushing down around me,” she said. “I lost my Eric in a car accident. Eric suffered a traumatic brain injury. Letting him go was the hardest most painful thing ever.”
As she healed from her devastating loss, she has continued to help the community just as she had done with her son by her side.
On September 4 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., the 2nd Annual Eric Medeiros Memorial Foundation Fundraising Gala will be held at Spain Restaurant in Cranston, which is also sponsoring the Gala. Tickets are $60 per person.
Last year, tickets sold out early and this year promises to be an even larger event that will include celebrity emcees, a red carpet, step & repeat, photographers, press, raffles, live auctions and volunteer awards. Steven Palumbo and DJ Vito will provide entertainment for the night.
This year will also feature a St. Croix beach getaway package for $20 per raffle entry or 6 entries for $100 donation. You need not be present to enter and for winner announcement, but they must have your contact information to send raffle ticket confirmation and for the winning notification. The winner will be announced at the Gala.
The mission of the foundation is to continue to raise funds within the community and various charities throughout RI.
“Charity work has always given me a sense of achievement and fulfillment in my life journey,” said Casador. “All along I always involved my children, I felt it was important for them to learn from an early age to be grateful and to give back to their community. Eric was always by my side, no matter what we were helping with, selling cupcakes to help the orphanage, making sandwiches for the mission on Sundays, selling pasta dinners to support the animal shelter, whatever needed to get done.”
After the loss of her son, Casador thought about the things Eric and she did together, from working together at her café, making sandwiches to take to the homeless shelter, and doing bake sales to raising money for kids backpacks.
“I could hear his voice ‘come on Ma, you still have work to do.’ And so, I did,” said Casador.
“Slowly the little charity work has grown, and we are able to help even more people. Through fundraising events, help of friends and family volunteering, we are doing good things to help others,” she continued.
The Foundation is now a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.
Most important to Casador, she said, is that “We are remembering and honoring Eric, and keeping his memory alive.”
Also, through Casador’s pageant family, (her titles as 2017 & 2018 Mrs. Knightsville Rhode Island and most recently 2017 Elite American Women of Service) and her other community involvement she has been able to meet more people, which meant more awareness.
The Gala will feature passed hors d’oeuvres: grilled flatbread, assorted pizzas, and shrimp & chicken empanadillas. There will also be a dinner buffet consisting of pork tenderloin, chicken parmesan, pasta marinara, Spain’s paella valencia, beef tenderloin tips, calamari, stuffed fish, sautéed vegetables, roasted potatoes, tomato salad with fresh mozzarella, and desserts. A cash bar will also be available.
“We support the Brain Injury Association of RI, CCAP local food pantries, have ongoing clothing drives, help displaced families with emergency aid, and offer support other charities,” said Casador.
For entry in the Grand Raffle, more information or to reserve your tickets, visit their official website at www.ericmedeirosmemorialfoundation.com.
“Our mission is to raise funds and awareness for the needs in our community by the power of volunteers, community coming together, fundraising events and donations,” said Casador.