It was a festive party on June 24 with lots of young people on a serious subject. The cause in question, Francesco’s Foundation, was founded because a young man, Francesco, took his life after being bullied. He was an A student, an accomplished musician, with everything ahead of him.
He was 17 years old when his life ended on Little Plains Beach in Southampton in October of 2021. There had been malicious taunts about him, his mother, Diana Cochran, said. And cyber bullying, although he had not identified as gay, bi or straight.
She set up the Francesco Foundation with her partner, Jennifer Allsop, to honor Francesco’s memory. The foundation hopes to help reduce the risk of teenage suicide, especially among LGBTQ+ young people. The frightening statistics are these: 45 percent of LGBTQ youth considered committing suicide last year and 14 percent of them attempted it. Francesco, perhaps by accident, succeeded.
The Francesco Foundation seeks to provide financial help for charities that invest in teenage mental health for all teens, not just the LGBTQ cohort. They are, however, in partnership with AspenOut, founded by Kevin McManamon in Colorado to promote tolerance, understanding and diversity. AspenOut does it through local and national programming, fundraising and grants for the LGBT+ community and their families. The organization also plans gay ski weeks.
A Party with a Purpose
The party in Diana Cochran’s home in Water Mill was to announce the charity’s upcoming fundraiser in September at the EHP Resort and Marina on Three Mile Harbor Hog Creek Road. That’s because you can’t do good things without raising money. And you can’t raise money without telling people you are going to raise money. Diana Cochran and others in this video explain how they feel about this cause.
The organization’s website is offering tickets to that fund raiser for $395. Brian Griffin, a guest at the Water Mill party who is better known as DJ GR1FIN, will be the DJ in September.
Among the guests were Jean Shafiroff, Luisa Diaz, Sara Shala, Elton Ilirjani, the owner of El Turco Cagri Kanver, Katlean de Monchy, James Byrnes and Noreen Donovan.