Olivia Culpo is urging her fans and followers to help 16-year-old Alexis “Lexi” Altobelli, who lost her mother, father, and little sister in the helicopter crash last weekend that killed six others, including NBA star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
“A week ago today Lexi’s entire life changed forever when her mom, dad, and little sister died in the tragic helicopter crash alongside Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, and Ara Zobayan. Please see the link in my bio to help in any way,” Culpo wrote. As of Monday afternoon, the campaign had raised more than half of its $500,000 goal.
“The funds collected are being used for funeral costs, Lexi’s future education, as well as other general living costs,” Culpo wrote. “No amount is too small, and even the smallest amount symbolizes your support and love for a family who really needs it right now.”
“If you can’t donate, please hold Lexi and her brother and all of the other families involved in this tragedy in your heart ❤️🙏 I can’t imagine what could possibly ease their pain at this time, but I know thoughts and prayers can go a long way.”
Lexi commented on the post with two heart emojis.
John Altobelli was the head baseball coach at Orange Coast College, and he and his wife Keri and their children Alyssa, Lexi and J.J. were known as the “first family” of the school. J.J., 29, is currently a scout for the Boston Red Sox.
John, 56, Keri, 46, and Alyssa, 13, all perished in the helicopter crash on January 26 that took nine lives. In addition to the three Altobellis, Kobe, and Gianna, Christina Mauser, Sarah and Payton Chester, and pilot Ara Zobayan also tragically died.
John’s team, the OCC Pirates, honored their fallen coach last Tuesday at their season opener against Southwestern Community College, just two days after his death — something that assistant coach Ron La Ruffa said is what John would have wanted.
“The more normal you can keep things, the better,” La Ruffa told the Orange County Register last week. “And I think ‘Alto’ would want us to play.”
Ahead of the first pitch, players and fans held a moment of silence for John, and all of the Pirates wore his number, 14, on their jerseys.
“We have a long hard day ahead of us, but we’ll entertain ourselves for a couple hours with some baseball,” John’s brother, Tony Altobelli, told the crowd before the game began.
Known fondly as “Coach Alto,” John led the team to numerous conference and state championship titles during his many years as head coach.
OCC has also set up the Altobelli Family Memorial Fund.