East Rochester, N.Y. – The Fairport community spent the morning paying tribute to 17-year-old Blake Cognata, who died Saturday from Ewings Sarcoma, a form of cancer that affects mostly children and teens.
The fundraiser at F.I.T. Gym in East Rochester was set up before Blake's passing, but went on as scheduled.
“It's definitely tough,” said Blaze Riorden, Blake’s friend, “It's a tough thing to go through.”
Riorden got up Sunday, determined to support his friend.
“I'm just going to find my strong like he [Blake] said,” said Riorden
Dozens found their strong, Sunday, a day after losing the Fairport High School athlete with the contagious smile.
“It's going to help them get some feelings out today,” said trainer Nikki Bittner, “by working out.”
Sunday’s fundraiser became part of the grieving process for some.
“We need to get our minds off things,” said Riorden, “and we need to come out here and sweat as a group.”
“I think people will find their strong now,” said Julie Earl, Co-Owner of F.I.T. Gym, “and come together and find the strength for the family, and show just because he has passed he'll never be forgotten.”
The fundraiser brought in around $2,300.00 for Blake's family.