MESSAGE FROM GINA: A "˜thank you' does not seem to cover the gratitude we feel for our friends, family, and kind strangers that we have not met. I am continually blown away by the support that has been shown to my family.
When my husband and I did for others, we would do it because it was right, not to see what we could get out of it. You don't think about what comes back to you. And when it does come back, it warms your heart, and gives you strength to keep going.
We are entering our seventh month as a family of four. Missing James is a daily occurrence, but we embrace it and carry on.
The boys are now 17, 12, and six. We have had four birthdays, the start of a new school and school year, four holidays, and the beginning of a New Year. We endured additional deaths among our family and friends.
It is amazing how the bubble you live in, and would like to stay in, does not endure. Life continues to go on. A new day, a new friend, a new issue, and the continuation of that loss.
Manny and Harrison are to attend the Comfort Zone Camp, a place for grieving kids. http://www.comfortzonecamp.org/. I pray this will be another step to help them along this journey.
Kostas is a constant source of curiosity and questions. He misses his father much, and talks about it a lot. I have my hands full. But my heart is full, because I am blessed with my community.
With every passing day, this fund gets closer to the goal we spontaneously set just one day after tragedy struck the Coutlakis family.
Your contributions have been and continue to be used and needed by Gina and the boys. Please continue to share this link ( http://www.gofundme.com/3icvcc) and encourage friends and family to support the Coutlakis family during this time of need.
To facilitate her use of this fund, administrative responsibility for this site is being turned over to Gina today. (That's our intent, anyway...)
The "Friends of Gina" thank you for your meaningful contribution to the Coutlakis family. This site has afforded us a rare opportunity to view the community's gratitude for decades of friendship, contributions and volunteerism by Gina and James. We have been deeply touched by the kindness and generosity of so many in Richmond and beyond.
Many of you indicated a willingness to offer financial support to Gina and the boys in the future. We encourage you to do so. Those beautiful Coutlakis boys are just 5, 12 and 16. Gina has a marathon before her. If you have the means to support her again or in the future, please do so.
"No exercise is better for the human heart than reaching down to lift up another person."
-- Tim Russert
(paraphrasing Bernard Meltzer)
Last night the fund to support Gina and her boys surpassed $10,000 and 100 contributors.
It's unrealistic to hope that our community might ever begin to replace James' emotional and financial contributions to their family, but the broad support this fund represents has humbled Gina and stunned her extended family.
Your recent gift is sincerely needed and will ease Gina's burdens in the coming months and year.
If you know of others who wish to support Gina and her deserving family in this manner, please share this link with them via Facebook or email: http://www.gofundme.com/3icvcc
Funeral arrangements for James recently were finalized:
Thursday, July 11, 2013 6-7 pm
Friday, July 12, 2013 12 pm
Both will be held at Scott's Funeral Home.
(115 Brookland Park Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23222)
Friday, July 12, 2013 2 pm
Will be held at Max's Positive Vibe Café.
(2825 Hathaway Rd, Richmond, VA 23225)
Give to a family that has always given back. The Coutlakis family is the kind of family you'd want as neighbors. Loving, involved parents and three polite, sweet sons. For decades, this family has been a blessing to the City of Richmond.
Gina Coutlakis has always been a person that the community could count on -- serving tirelessly as a Cub Scout den mother, a PTA board member at William Fox Elementary School and a lifeline for countless friends and neighbors. By day, she works for Positive Vibe Foundation, a nonprofit that makes a meaningful difference in the lives of people with disabilities.
Now this family needs your help.
Tragic accident On July 6, James Coutlakis -- Gina's husband and father to Manny (16), Harrison (12) and Kostas (5) -- was struck and killed by a train during his morning walk. James was a family man with strong Greek values. He also was civic-minded, serving as president of the Boulevard Association. His letters to the editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch earned him recognition as "Correspondent of the Day" on numerous occasions. Short- and long-term needs James was in the prime of life and a vital, contributing member to their family. While James had a modest amount of life insurance, theCoutlakis family has both immediate and long-term financial needs, ranging from funeral costs to educational expenses for the boys.
Please contribute Friends of the Coutlakis family have created this online fund to help a family that has always been quick to help others. Please give generously to help a wonderful woman and her beautiful boys.