Rich, an alumnus of Bowling Green Elementary School and a member of W.T. Clarke High School's class of 1988, was an active member of his Boy Scout troop.
As an adult, he spent several years volunteering for the Westbury Fire Department.
Like his father and grandfather, Forenza worked in the trucking industry. When he died, he had been working for a Bronx-based company for only a few months. Each night he would pick up his truck in the Bronx and drive to a store in Massachusetts to drop off a trailer. There he would pick up a new trailer and drive it to a store in Kings Park. He was usually back home in Salisbury by 9 or 10 a.m.
Forenza was an avid fan of the Jets and Islanders, and enjoyed watching wrestling and playing poker and golf.
After his funeral in November, friends and relatives gathered and discussed how they could best honor him. They decided on the fundraising event, and to donate the proceeds to the NUMC Burn Unit. "They were a great bunch of people on that unit," Kelly Forenza said. "They cried with us, comforted us."
"We would love to help someone else," Chris Forenza said.
Sponsorship packages for the event are going fast, but are still available. It will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. at Mulcahy's, at 3232 Railroad Ave. in Wantagh. There will be an open bar, a buffet, a DJ, dancing, prize drawings and more. Tickets are $40 per person before Jan. 20 and $50 at the door. For advance ticket purchases or further information, call Greg Young at (516) 244-4632 or Joe Martin at (516) 852-3670. The benefit's Web site is www.richforenzamemorialfund.com.
"I'm sure he'd be embarrassed," Kelly Forenza said. "I hope he's smiling down to see how much he's loved."
Comments about this story? MCaputo@liherald.com or (516) 569-4000 ext. 287.