Bobbi Costa was a fighter whose compassion and tenacity impacted the lives of crime victims and their families for years as the founder and director of Families and Friends of Violent Crime Victims. Her unexpected death in 2001 from Acute Myeloid Leukemia was a blow not only to her family, but to those who had relied on her for support and encouragement during difficult times.
The Costa family, most of whom live in the Marysville area, have long been active in the local community, and this year they've chosen to combine their efforts for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Light the Night fundraiser, in honor of the family matriarch, uniting as Team Bobbi.
"Last year was the first time we participated in the Light the Night walk," said Rietta Costa, a real estate agent with MacPherson's Realty. "It was beautiful! We walk around Greenlake after dark, holding glowing balloons. It's a peaceful yet awe-inspiring sight."
The Costa family team consists of nearly a dozen sisters, cousins, aunts and in-laws. Sisters Rietta, Charvette and Jeralita Costa lead the charge in memory of their mother, who was only 59 years old when she died.
It's become customary for charitable event participants to organize garage sales, candle parties, car washes and other fundraisers on behalf of the charity. While the Costa family does plan to hold some public fundraisers before the walk on September 17, including a garage sale on July 16, the biggest contribution will likely come from Jet City Pizza
, which is owned by Rietta's son Tristan Costa.
"Tristan understands that the measure of true success is being able to give back to your community," said Rietta Costa. "He provided over $1,000 in free pizzas for the Marysville-Tulalip Relay for Life, and he's offered to donate generously to the Light the Night walk as well."
In honor of Bobbi Costa, Jet City Pizza will donate 25 percent of every full-price order all day Wednesdays through August 31 when customers say, "Give it to Team Bobbi." Customers can also donate $1 at the pizza restaurant by purchasing a Light the Night balloon.
Jet City Pizza is located at 11515 State Ave., Suite C, in Marysville. The phone number is (360) 653-5858.
That's a story in itself. While her daughters were growing up and in the years beyond, Bobbi Costa's phone number was always 659-5858. Tristan is working to gain access to that phone number for his restaurant, but in the meantime he requested 653-5858 as his main phone line.
To find out more about the Light the Night Walk, visit www.lightthenight.org
. Donations can be made to Team Bobbi online through that site as well. The team's garage sale on Saturday, July 16, will be held at 4414-92nd St. NE in Marysville.