By: Samantha Leader
On Wednesday, January 4, 2017, Mark and his daughter Regan Shetsky were in a tragic accident leading to the death of Regan. It has now been over a year since the incident occurred but Kelly Quinn Shetsky, Regan’s mother, remembers the situation clearly.
“Mark dropped Gavin, our son, off at Holy Cross School first, then went to Eastwood Baptist to drop Regan off at nursery school just after 9 a.m.,” Kelly said.
Mark and Regan were standing in between two parked cars only moments after he had taken her from her car seat when a woman floored her gas pedal and hit their car, pushing it into the car parked next to it, according to Kelly. This now left Mark and Regan exposed for when she accelerated again, hitting them and pinning Mark between the front of her SUV and another one, resulting in serious injuries to his legs and Regan instantly died from the blunt force trauma to her head, she said.
Unfortunately, after this accident occurred and months of waiting, there were no legal charges against the woman who was driving the other vehicle, Zung Tung. “The state Department of Motor Vehicles revoked her license, determining she failed to ‘exercise due care’ when she caused the crash, nothing has happened since that,” Kelly said.
After the tragic accident happened to the family, they were lucky enough to have a large, loving community around them of friends and family. That was the one bright spot through all of this; it has been amazing to see how much people support us, according to Kelly.
“We will forever grieve the loss of our angel. We will never ‘get over it’ or ‘move on’. Regan brought much joy to our family and it’s not the same without her,” Kelly said. A few organizations also helped the family while they went through this tragic loss such as, The Hospice grief Center and Hope for Bereaved parent’s meetings, according to Kelly.
In March 2017, which would have been Regan’s 4th birthday, the Shetsky family launched Regan’s Acts of Kindness. The family did this in a way to spread the smiles Regan always did by inspiring people to practice and spread kindness, according to Kelly.
“Regan’s act of kindness places particular emphasis on bringing children joy and teaching them to pay it forward with gestures of empathy, gratitude and love,” Kelly said.
On April 3, 2018, Regan’s Acts of Kindness, Inc. was granted its 501(c) 3 status and are now officially a not-for-profit charity. All the projects that the family have started foster kinder and more supportive communities, Kelly said.
The projects to-date that the Shetsky family are putting on include Regan’s Corner at The Wild Animal Park (12ft tall giraffe, benches carve with owls and her handwriting, and a bronze plaque), New playground equipment at Holy Cross School, Christmas ornament distribution to babies born at St. Joseph’s and children at Golisano, Memorial garden in Sedgwick neighborhood, and Kindness rock initiative that is spanning the world.
One of the big events that is coming up on June 23rd,, rain date June 24th,, is the 2nd annual Regan’s Outdoor Movie Night at Lemoyne College. The event starts with a family fun night at 6p.m. which includes a bounce house, face painting, balloon animals, gaga ball, crafts, bubbles, henna tattoos, raffles, and refreshments, according to Kelly. The movie starts at dusk, and this year will be “Ferdinand.”
“Last year, we held the event with the film ‘Sing,”, it was a celebration of Regan’s life because she loved having movie nights and would have loved this event,” Kelly said.
This year they are expanding with the addition of a bounce house and adding an extra hour to the family fun night portion, giving family tons to do, Kelly said. Everyone joining this event, make sure to bring blankets and chairs to sit on during the movie!
“We have chosen to honor Regan since her death because we want people to know her and say her name (pronounced ree-gan, not ray-gan) even if they didn’t have the privilege to meet her, she deserved to live on,” Kelly said.
You can go directly to Regan’s Acts of Kindness Facebook page to learn more about the events and dates of the events, facebook.com/regansactsofkindness.
They are currently designing a website which will go live at regansactsofkindness.com soon.