By Andrew Wroblewski
Dedicated public servant Scott Martella was killed in a car crash just over a year ago, but his memory continues to give back to those he cared about.
A memorial scholarship for low-income students who plan to study international or public relations has been established in his name, and on Tuesday Suffolk officials announced the results of a back-to-school drive held in his memory.
“Scott believed in the awesome power of public service,” his parents, Stacy and Steve Martella, said in a joint statement. “We hope to keep his legacy alive by giving future leaders the same chance Scott had in pursuing a college education.”
Martella, of Northport, died in a disastrous crash that killed five others on the Long Island Expressway on Aug. 21, 2016.
The 29-year-old most recently served as Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone’s director of communications, responsible for daily communications operations. Previously, he was Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s regional representative for Long Island.
During Tuesday’s back-to-school drive, which collected hundreds of supplies for homeless and at-risk youth across Long Island, Bellone said the effort encompassed Martella’s “legacy of helping those who need a hand – to give a helping hand to those in need.”
Bellone added, “For us to be here today, on this nearly one-year anniversary of Scott’s death, to carry on and continue to celebrate his amazing life and his legacy by giving to others I think is totally appropriate.”
Donations to the The Scott Martella Memorial Scholarship Fund, established by the Martella family and United Way of Long Island, can be made to United Way of Long Island, 819 Grand Blvd., Deer Park, New York 11729, or by logging on to ScottMartella.com.
Along with the scholarship, there are plans for a yearly community service project with the Smithtown Central School District and the United Veterans Beacon House, a nonprofit partner of United Way.
“Scott really cared about children, children’s education, helping others and bringing communities together,” said Greta Guarton, CEO of Amityville-based Long Island Coalition for the Homeless, which hosted Tuesday’s back-to-school drive.
“I can’t think of a better way to honor his memory than doing an event like this on an annual basis that will bring all of those aspects together for children in need in Suffolk.”