LAKEWOOD – Hundreds of students got to know media specialist Sara Trahey as they attended Ella G. Clarke School. Now, even future students will know her name.
Trahey passed away in a fire in her Toms River home on Feb. 7. Her husband and three young children were able to make it out of the home.
Counselors were on hand at the school, and messages were made available to parents showing them how to look for signs of mental trauma in their children and what to do if their child needs help.
The Lakewood Board of Education will rename the library at her school in her honor, said Michael Inzelbuch, attorney for the board. They will be doing it officially at a Board meeting. The family is invited, although since they are grieving, they might not want to grieve publicly.
Inzelbuch and his wife are also donating a $1,000 scholarship in her name to any Lakewood High School graduate who wants to pursue library science.
The story of the family’s loss spread through social media, which also directed readers to fundraising.
The GoFundMe page reads “It is with great sadness to announce the sudden and tragic passing of Sara Trahey. Sara was the loving wife of Jeff, and the mother of three beautiful children ages, 2, 7 and 9. Sara was loved and respected in the community, and her death has left a hole in our hearts and lives.”
As of press time, a GoFundMe started for her family has raised more than $130,000.
“All proceeds will go towards funeral expenses, immediate needs of the family (clothing, toiletries, etc.), and anything left over will be put into a college fund for the children,” wrote fundraiser organizer Amy Corbet-Elsbree. “Words cannot express how grateful the family is for your generous contributions. The outpouring of love and support is overwhelming. Sara touched many lives in everything she was involved in.”
The fundraiser can be found at gofundme.com/f/the-trahey-memorial-fund
When emergency crews arrived, the house was fully engulfed, police said. About 60 firefighters from multiple companies worked to get it under control. Police and firefighters attempted to rescue her, but were unsuccessful. A Toms River police officer was transported to Community Medical Center and treated for smoke inhalation. He was released the next morning.
Toms River Councilman Kevin Geoghegan, the assistant chief of the Silverton First Aid Squad, said that the first emergency responders were on scene within 2 minutes of the first 911 call.