EAST VILLAGE — The grieving grandmother of 12-year-old Dashane Santana, who was struck and killed by a minivan while crossing Delancey Street on Jan. 13, is trying to raise money to pay for the little girl's funeral.
Teresa Pedroza, 51, has been going door-to-door in and around the Jacob Riis Houses in the East Village to raise $8,500 for her granddaughter's funeral, which is set for Tuesday from 2 to 9 p.m. at the Provenzano Lanza Funeral Home on Second Avenue, between Second and Third streets.
"It's the last bit of money I'm ever going spend on this little girl," said Pedroza. "She deserves it."
Santana, a talented singer and dancer who had applied to The Julliard School before she was tragically killed near the foot of the Williamsburg bridge, was supposed to celebrate her 13th birthday on Feb. 7.
"Instead of thinking of what we're going to do for her birthday we're planning for her funeral," her devastated grandmother said.
Local politicians and advocates, including Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, have called for the city to place crossing guards at Clinton and Delancey streets.
Pedroza said the family has raised about $4,700 so far and is planning a fundraiser on Saturday at Parkside Lounge on Houston and Attorney streets from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m.
There will be live jazz and R&B performers, said family friend Brian Bacchus, who is helping to organize the event.
Pedroza has been leading the fundraising while Santana's mother, Shamika Benjamin, 31, prepares for oral surgery.
"Her mother is devastated," she said.
Those interested in making a donation can do so via PayPal to Bacchus' at firstname.lastname@example.org.