EAST VILLAGE — Two neighborhood residents have set up an online fundraising campaign to help the family of Moises Locon Yac, one of the two men killed in last month’s massive gas explosion on Second Avenue.
Lisa Yuskavage and her husband, Matvey Levenstein, have created a GoFundMePage that asks for $20,000 in donations for Locon Yac's family. More than 100 people have donated more than $6,000 in the past week, according to the website.
“I can only imagine what a loss this young man is to his family and friends. He was from Guatemala and we can only imagine how hard it will be for his family to get help,” wrote the couple, who described themselves as longtime East Village residents.
Yuskavage, an artist represented by the David Zwirner Gallery, and Levenstein did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Lisa di Donato, Yuskavage's assistant, said the artist set up the GoFundPage after realizing that Locon Yac had received little media coverage. And unlike other individuals affected by the blast, Locon Yac did not have an online fundraising page set up to help his family.
Di Donato and Julia Joern, a partner in the gallery's marketing and publicity department said Yuskavage had not made contact with Locon Yac's family, but hoped the page would help her find them. The artist has also contacted the Guatemalan embassy and the NYPD for help in finding his loved ones, they said.
If the funds were left unclaimed, they added, the money would be refunded to those who donated.
Locon Yac, a 26-year-old Elmhurst resident, was working at Sushi Park, located at 121 Second Ave., when the explosion tore through the restaurant on March 26, sources said. The blast sparked a massive fire and led to building’s collapse. Crews pulled his body from the rubble three days later, officials said.
The site was one of several online fundraisers created to raise money for the victims. The family of 23-year-old Nicholas Figueroa, who was also killed in the explosion, also started their own GoFundMe page.
Locon Yac’s family was not immediately available to comment.