DETAILS: Derkosh Family Fundraiser in Brentwood Nov. 25

Spaghetti dinner runs from 2 to 8 p.m. that Sunday.

The Brentwood Presbyterian Church will serve as the latest host of community support in light of the recent tragedy that struck the Derkosh family of Whitehall Borough.

On Sunday, Nov. 25, the church—found at 3725 Brownsville Rd. in Brentwood Borough (15227)—will welcome the public for a spaghetti dinner fundraiser from 2 to 8 p.m. All proceeds from the dinner as well as all monetary donations will go directly to the family of .

Maddox was visiting the Pittsburgh Zoo with his mother that day when he fell from the top of a platform railing to the ground inside of the pit area of an African painted dogs exhibit. He was mauled to death by the dogs.

The cost per dinner at the Brentwood fundraiser is $8 per adult and $5 per child aged 6 to 10 years old. Children under the age of 5 eat for free. Dinner includes a plate of spaghetti, a side salad, a roll, a cookie and a choice of water, juice or coffee. Guest can dine in or take out.

There will also be a Chinese auction at the event. Chinese auction tickets cost $1 each—or $3 for five tickets and $5 for 10 of them.

Toy construction trucks, which have become a symbol of community support for the Derkoshes, will be accepted at the dinner. The trucks will be donated to a children's Christmas charity in Maddox's memory.


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HeatherT November 18, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Why are people still giving money to this? Yes, the boys death is tragic but what good is this fundraiser, monetary donations and gift cards for the family going to do. Are they profiting from the uniqueness of this story? Multiple wounded war veterans were just killed in a tragic parade accident in texas, I'm sure their families could use money to help for their costs. A 3 year old not far away from Pittsburgh was just killed in a fire that was ruled arson. Don't the families of these people deserve support? I think it's wrong to be desensitized to some tragedies (cancer, car accidents, etc.) but go all in on the ones that make big news stories just to be a part of the hype.
Jean S. November 18, 2012 at 04:33 AM
Heather .... Yes, this young boy's death was indeed tragic. And so are the other horrible things that are happening around this area, in other parts of the country and other parts of the world. Absolutely. I am sure everyone is well aware of these tragedies.and, yes, support is definitely deserved and hopefully someone out there is helping out in all of these occurrences. I am betting that many many people around this area have the veterans that were killed in the parade in their prayers as I am sure you do and I know I do. This little boy's death has hit all of us (those of us with a heart, that is) very hard. Many of us are parents and cannot even fathom what that mother and father are experiencing. It is hard enough when a child dies but this was such an awful freak thing that it has ALL of us still wondering how it could have happened. I am one of those people who continues to pray for this mother, father and other family members and friends as they face some of the most difficult days ahead of them with the Christmas season upon us. I pray for them every day and ask God to give them comfort and peace. I will add you to my prayer list and ask that God might drain the ice water that runs through your veins and that you might grow a heart and remember that an innocent toddler tragically passed away and left two very grieving parents.
NE12Ukid November 18, 2012 at 05:11 AM
I don't think Heather has ice water in her veins, Jean S. She is just asking questions that others have wondered about these fund raisers. I wish there were some limit to them in such cases. The loss of a child is something parents NEVER get over, and a tragic unexpected death puts extra expenses for funeral on a family that was not prepared for such extra costs. But once the funeral is paid for, there is, IMO, no need for further money given, because unlike situations where the breadwinner of the family is killed, this family has lost a part of their heart, but has not lost any income. Prayers, as you suggest, are important for them, as would be personal support to help them deal with their grief, but once the funeral expenses are covered, there seems no need for extra money to be collected. Just my opinion, others are certainly free to have a different view.
HeatherT November 18, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Very well said, NE12Ukid. So well in fact, I am going to echo your exact statement. "Prayers, as you suggest, are important for them, as would be personal support to help them deal with their grief, but once the funeral expenses are covered, there seems no need for extra money to be collected." I would also like to add that continuing to use this tragedy to promote social events and websites is not doing anyone any good. All those things serve4 to do is reignite the flames of an already heated debate from people with opinions on all sides of this (the mother is at fault, the zoo is at fault, the family should get money, people should use their money to support people and charities that are in need, etc.) This is no way will bring maddox back or allow the family time to begin to heal and grieve in peace. I have lost an immediate family member and i couldn't imagine having to make appearances at social events or knowing there are discussions going on constantly about the situation with people pointing fingers, rehashing details of the event and arguing over blame. The trucks were a nice gesture (and I hope they go to childrens charities and brighten many christmas mornings.) I also hope that they are not used as a way to continue to keep this event in the local media spotlight. True charity is done unselfishly and in private. I also hope the people who are so dedicated to this story are also dedicated in helping people who don't happen to make unique and headline news event.
Brian Weak November 18, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Heather, while I appreciate your comments and your right to voice them I disagree with some points. I was at the viewing and funeral for this little boy. This family in no way wanted or wants to be in the headlines. They are truly devastated. The charity events to which you refer are most likely not being attended by this family. They have nothing to do with the organizing of them. These are done by kind people who want to show their love and support for this family. It is wonderful how so many people have come together to show their love and support in so many ways, especially with the asking for trucks for children's charities. That is a very unselfish gesture on their part. As far as paying for funeral expenses, I am betting those will all be taken care of by either insurance or these unselfish donations by others. Perhaps the money that is raised by these events will be donated to other needy charities in Maddox's name. Don't just assume that it will go to the family and somehow it is a payday for them. This family is not like that. I applaud the efforts of so many to help this family. We lose our family members to accidents, illnesses, etc. And we grieve. When you lose a child to such a tragedy, it is something you never ever get over ... and really, how could you. Say a prayer for this family today. They will need all of our prayers.
Margaret French November 18, 2012 at 03:22 PM
I have a question. I am just asking because I don't know... has the funeral etc. been all paid for yet? I have not read every story on this so that is why I am asking.
brenda November 18, 2012 at 04:47 PM
It seems to me that the hosts of the dinner are doing the right things for the right reasons. If you choose to follow your heart and share in this event, may God bless you. Heather, there is a God and He is in charge; so perhaps today you can let Him take care of things. I will pray that you find healing; with much kindness and sincerity it sounds like your path has been a challenging one, and I hope you find peace. As for the dinner; many beautiful contributions to life have been made by a community coming together in grief, love, and the sharing of peace in the midst of tragedy. It is part of the healing process.
NE12Ukid November 18, 2012 at 08:05 PM
RE: brenda 11:47 am on Sunday, November 18, 2012 It seems to me that the hosts of the dinner are doing the right things for the right reasons. If you choose to follow your heart and share in this event, may God bless you....>>>>>>> AND if you choose to follow your heart and NOT share in this event, but to do your own charitible giving and your own praying in whatever way is right for you, may God also bless YOU, and may no one on Patch try to insinuate that you have a cold heart, or a challenging path, or are not at peace just because your way is not identical to theirs, brenda!
Deb November 19, 2012 at 02:56 AM
The death of this boy is tragic however tragic things happen everyday, just take a look at the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and you will find many deserving people everyday. I think the reason that this particular fundraisins endeavor has come under such scrutiny is because not only was this incident "completely preventable" but the family has already received $16,000 plus from one website, have an account open through Citizens Bank and are now getting more money from fundraisers and like was mentioned above some people are even giving them gift cards. It's time to say enough is enough. The have received far more than other families in need and it's time, especially for a Church, to share the wealth and stop throwing money at this story just because it made the news.


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