By Jeff Gallatin
Members of the North Olmsted community rallied to help the family of Bruce-Wayne “Malik” Adams and themselves deal with his death after the 15-year-old high school sophomore was struck and killed by a hit-skip driver late Thursday night on Brookpark Road near Wal-Mart.
A Sunday carwash at the Donato’s restaurant organized by North Olmsted resident Kelly McCullough, her family and other city residents raised a little under $6,000 to help Adams’ family pay for his funeral.
“These kids and our community are amazing,” McCullough said. “Coach (Gina) Caroscio of the North Olmsted Eaglets let us use the car-wash equipment from the high school. Today showed me how generous people can be. I want to thank every single person who donated, and these wonderful kids who worked so hard today. It’s obvious Malik was loved by many and he will surely be missed.”
Lillian Harper, the area supervisor for six Donato’s restaurants in northern Ohio, said she was pleased by the community response.
“Aren’t those kids and the people in North Olmsted something special?” she commented Monday. “Can you believe they raised all that money in under one day? That really says something about the type of people they are, that they would respond with that kind of help that quickly to this.”
Harper, who has adult children, said she can emphasize with the family and friends of Adams.
“It’s a terrible thing, that something like that happened to that young man,” she said. “But I do think it’s great that all those kids came out to help. There were around 100 teenagers out here helping out.”
Harper said Donato’s is donating 50 percent of its Sunday sales, or about $200, to the fund and provided all the water for the car wash. The restaurant also fed all the car wash workers.
Another North Olmsted business, O’Reilly Auto Parts, was also making arrangements to offer assistance, McCullough said.
Friends also set up a memorial on Brookpark Road near the site of the accident where people deposited stuffed animals, cards and other items to remember Malik. People were visiting the site throughout the weekend and Monday.
One North Olmsted student who stopped at the site said she knew Malik and that he was a good person and well-liked. Her mother said she doesn’t understand the vehicle driver’s actions.
“How can you just drive away and leave someone in the road like that?” she asked. “It just doesn’t make sense.”
Vera Brewer, communications director for the schools, said the students were busy in other areas as well.
“They organized a balloon release Friday night on Huntington Beach in Bay Village to honor him,” she said Monday afternoon. “They also wore blue today to school because it was one of his favorite colors. They organized most of these events through social media. It’s pretty amazing what they can do with that nowadays.”
North Olmsted High School Principal Jeff Stanton said people at the school are attempting to deal with the situation.
“Our No. 1 concern is the family of Malik and being there as best we can for them,” Stanton said. “I am overwhelmed, but not surprised, by the response of students and staff at North Olmsted. They rallied for one of their classmates and will continue to do so as we all move through this tragedy.”
Funeral arrangements were incomplete as West Life went to press. Check Westlifenews.com and other area media outlets for final details.