Manchester brothers remembered by Roca Kidz Club, peers after deadly fire
MANCHESTER — More than one hundred gathered Thursday for the fifth anniversary of the Roca Kidz Club in Manchester. It comes just days after two of their young members died in a tragic fire just two blocks away.
Amy Moody is the older sister of Joshua and Jay Michael, the two young brothers who died after a fire consumed their Wilson Street home Monday.
“They made friends here, that they didn’t have before and they loved it here,” Moody said.
The boys would have been at this party tonight, instead it turned into a celebration of their lives.
“I will tell you they were smart kids, they didn’t need help very much at all, but they came here I think because they knew this is a safe place,” said Eddie Torres, a Roca volunteer and board member.
The boys’ parents were also killed in the fire. Moody says she tried to see her brothers often, but she moved out of the home when she turned 18.
“There’s been drug use, and abuse, and just so much negativity,” Moody said.
The boys are being remembered by their friends and mentors as fun, rambunctious, and kind.
“The kids, they call me Mr. Eddie. Those little guys, I can hear them calling me Mr. Eddie still in my head,” Torres said.
Roca means rock in Spanish. The organization tells the children they will be that rock as they try to cope with this loss.
Gov. Maggie Hassan and Mayor Ted Gatsas were also at the event and told the kids they are the foundation of change in the city.
“They are loved, that they are important that they count and that God’s got a purpose for their life,” Torres said.
“We want to be here to help them process through everything and to show them that life goes on and that they can have hope,” said Jenn Hebert, Co-Founder of Roca Kidz Club.
Moody thanked everyone for their support as she was flooded with hugs. She told the kids to always be nice to each other.
“You really don’t know who’s going through what,” Moody said.