Wellington man left community legacy
Foundation gives out shoes for kids, scholarship to FSU.
About 250 Wellington students showed up on the first day of school with new shoes thanks to the legacy of a man most never met.
Christopher Aguirre has been gone for more than a decade, but his family has been using his name to make Wellington a better place.
What started as just a small softball tournament to honor the memory of a brother, son and friend has turned into meals for families around the holidays, sports leagues for kids and a $10,000 scholarship to Florida State University.
Aguirre was just weeks away from getting his degree at Florida State when he was struck and killed by a drunken driver in 2006 while walking in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Three years later, his mother RoseAnn LaBella Voils started the Christopher Aguirre Memorial Foundation.
The foundation combines Aguirre’s passion for helping people with his love of sports.
“My son’s looking down smiling, I’m sure,” LaBella Voils said.
They still have the softball tournament every year, but it’s not so small anymore. More than 500 people attend the tournament every year in the second week of December, and it’s their main source of fundraising.
In some way, the foundation is still small. There aren’t any big corporate sponsorships and the staff is just the family. But they have their hands in just about everything.
Along with the shoes handed out for free at Wellington’s Back-to-School Block Party, the foundation part- ners with the village to handle things like the holiday food and toy drives. LaBella Voils sometimes just goes into Walmart and pays off the layaway debts for families that need the help.
It also hands out a scholar- ship every year to Wellington High School students following the same path as Christopher and heading to Florida State. They are given $2,500 a year, for a total of $10,000.
The family has lived in Wellington for decades and all their contributions are focused on the western communities and the village specifically.
Working together with a foundation like that is key for Wellington’s programs, Assistant Village Manager Jim Barnes said.
“It’s critical to the success of any community program that it be based on a partnerships,” Barnes said. “Private companies can’t do everything, but they can do a lot. Governments can’t do everything, but we try as well.”
Anyone who wants to learn about the foundation c an check out its website christophermemorial.org or Facebook Page.
Anthony Aguirre (front row, from left), Kelli Schaming, RoseAnn LaBella Voils, Kelli Aguirre, Lindy Bradford, Ramon Voils (back row, from left), Gerardo Aguirre and Taylor Aguirre pose at the annual softball tournament held during the second week of...
Madeline Enriquez helps Genesis Kilpatrick, 9, pick out a free pair of shoes at the Annual Back-to-School Community Block Party in August at Tiger Shark Cove Park in Wellington. The Aguirre Foundation handed out 263 new pairs of shoes this year.