'Buddy Benches' installed across Fairfield to honor teen who died by suicide

Kevin Kuczo, 17, died by suicide in 2021. His family has since started the nonprofit Kevin's Afterglow in his honor. 

Jun 6, 2023, 5:57 PM

Updated 346 days ago

Share:

The family of a Fairfield teen who died by suicide is keeping his memory alive by installing "Buddy Benches" across town.
Kevin Kuczo, 17, died by suicide in 2021. His family has since started the nonprofit Kevin's Afterglow in his honor. 
"We want to spread that afterglow through having people do kind acts and having them be empathetic," said Jim Kuczo, Kevin's father. 
One of the ways the family is spreading kindness is through the dedication of Buddy Benches. The benches have been placed at half of Fairfield's schools so far. 
"It's a special bench, and if you're feeling sad or lonely and not included, you can sit on the bench," Kevin's father said. "If someone's on the bench, you're taught to help them. 'Hey, you want to come talk with me?'"
The benches are also being installed at businesses, including the Reef Shack on Reef Road. The owners' son played sports with Kevin.
"Installed it so it can get some good visibility and people can start seeing what Kevin's Afterglow is all about," Reef Shack owner Jason Lesizza said. "So hopefully it can help people because the message is awesome."
"If I can get kids to say, 'Hey, I need help' and then someone to give them help, I think that's a pretty cool thing," Kuczo added. "Maybe when they get to their teenage years, they won't have a problem asking for help."
A golf tournament will be held Monday to benefit Kevin's Afterglow. Click HERE for more information.  


More from News 12