The event was organized by Amy and Hsi-Pei Liao, the parents of little Allison, who was killed at the intersection of Cherry Avenue and Main Street while crossing with her grandmother, and Italia Augienello, president of the school's PTA.
Augienello said the streets around the Fresh Meadows school, where Allison's older brother Preston attends kindergarten, are choked with dangerous traffic in the mornings and afternoons.
“At our first PTA meeting of the year we had 500 people attend, and we tried to send the message that someday it is going to be your kid who gets hurt,” said Augienello, who has also collected close to 1,000 signed pledges from parents promising to put safety first. “Someday it is going to hit close to home.”
Since Allison was killed, her parents have tried to turn the tragedy into something positive. In February, they helped create Families for Safe Streets, regularly meet with local precincts and area schools, and drive to Albany to lobby politicians on the issue of pedestrian safety.
Both Amy and Hsi-Pei attended the safety pledge at PS 173 last week to share what happened to Allison with the kids.
“She did nothing wrong, and was holding an adult's hand,” Hsi-Pei said. “Everybody in this room cares greatly about you and doesn't want to see you get hurt.”
Also taking the pledge were State Senator Tony Avella and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic.
“I really want to thank Amy and Hsi-Pei for bringing this issue to the halls of Albany and sharing what they went through,” said Rozic.