PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A few months ago, a local family suffered a heartbreaking tragedy when their teenage son passed away.
Now, they’re telling his story and hoping to use it to do good for others.
Frank and Kerri Bacco have just created the Dalton Bacco Living the Dream Fund. It is a non-profit organization that will raise money for scholarships, or a day of fun for a child in foster care.
That in itself isn’t remarkable, but the reason behind the fund is.
“He was the best son that a son could be. There is not a minute that goes by now that we don’t miss him,” Frank said.
Dalton was first featured on KDKA’s Waiting Child series back in 2010. For the Baccos, it was love at first sight.
“I looked at Kerri and I immediately went to get the phone. I was calling to find out more about Dalton because we fell in love instantly,” Frank said.
Dalton settled into his new family life quite well. They traveled the world showering Dalton with love and attention and he gave it right back.
“Mom, I love you. That’s how he left every time,” Kerri said.
That’s how he left the last time the Bacco’s saw their son. At the age of 19, Dalton was just finishing his first year at Carlow University, where he was majoring in respiratory science.
Dalton fell from a balcony on the top floor of the University Commons to the ground below in the very heart of the campus.
“I was at a track meet, coaching at North Allegheny and I received a phone call,” Frank said.
“That day, hearing the news, I mean, as his mom I knew something was wrong and I think I knew in my head I would never see him again, that he would never talk to me,” Kerri said.
The little boy that captured their hearts as a child, now a young man with a bright future, had for whatever reason taken his own life on his college campus.
“May 3, we don’t, it wasn’t Dalton Bacco that day. It was some of the trauma came back, I think. Because Dalton Bacco would never – he loved life,” Frank said.
The Baccos have found personal ways to remember their son, including tattoos that say “I love you mom” and “I love you Dad” in Dalton’s handwriting.
Throughout their home are reminders of the boy who brought so much joy to their lives.
“The first one is the first day we met him, the middle picture is the day of his adoption at the courthouse and the right picture is the day of his adoption party,” Kerri said.
But, the Baccos wanted to do more to make sure Dalton’s legacy would live on. That’s how the Dalton Bacco Living the Dream Fund was born. And because he always wanted to give back, they are trying to give back.
“He never forgot the kids he spent so much time with. He spent six, seven years in and out of foster care and he always talked about it – about the kids that may never find their family,” Frank said.
The first event hosted by the Dalton Bacco Living the Dream Fund will be a golf outing in September. They hope to attract interest from those who knew their son and those who didn’t.
From there, other events will raise money to give back to the children who wait – children who are waiting for their forever family.
“He was a loving, caring child. He would be very happy that we’re helping other children because that’s what he wanted most was to be able to help other children,” Kerri said.
“One day, we’ll try to find a new normal. But, right now, the new normal for me is to continue to promote Dalton’s life, through the [Dalton Bacco Living the Dream Fund],” Frank said.
The Baccos have started a Facebook page for the fund, which can be found here.