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The East End Community Rises To Crowdfunding Request For Local’s Children


Sophie Olender, 49, passed away recently, and it was her wishes that her children return to live with relatives in Southampton. (Courtesy Photo: Olender Family)

A lovely young woman, Sophie Olender, formerly of Southampton, tragically passed away recently (June 20, 2016), at the tender age of 49, after a 10-year battle with breast cancer.

The mother of two children, Ayden Tarrent-Willis and Olivia McLysaght, ages 22 and 13, the family relocated to Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, where Ms. Olender passed away. However, it was Sophie's final wishes that her children return to Southampton to live with relatives.

Ms. Olender was also predeceased by her parents, Jozef and Zofia Olender; and several brothers and a sister, along with numerous cousins, nieces and nephews, and grandnieces and grandnephews.

Her home in South Carolina, a rental, will no longer be available at the end of July, and the children, along with relatives, have initiated a crowdfunding site to raise the necessary funds to absorb the financial burden of moving, incidental costs incurred when relocating, as well as educational costs.

Both students, Ayden hopes to continue with college, while Olivia will be entering the eighth grade in the fall. Planning to live with their cousin Anthony Olender and his wife Rebeca, Anthony has started a Crowdfunding account to hopefully raise enough funds to relocate the children as soon as possible. Presently, over $10,600 has been raised.

Crowdfunding is defined as "A form of crowdsourcing, the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, today often performed via Internet-mediated registries, but the concept can also be executed through mail-order subscriptions, benefit events, and other methods."

In addition to all the avenues available to raise funds for any reason, we now live in a technological age that allows us to contribute online in response to a very specific request for a very specific reason, and the benefits to those generating these requests online has been both successful and substantial. With a mere few clicks the immediate response can almost instantly result in the granting of wishes, no wand needed.

And Sophie? She was well known for her passion for her children foremost, and her love of nature and flowers. As a former floral designer, she created a home blossoming with flowers that expressed this love. So if her expressed wishes were that her children "come home" to be loved, nurtured and cared for by family members in Southampton, than a few clicks really can make dreams come true.

A memorial and internment will be held in Southampton at a later date.

To contribute visit www.crowdrise.com.


Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.


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