Vanessa Bryant Announces MambaOnThree Fund for the 7 Victims Who Died with Kobe and Gianna
also providing support to the families of the seven other helicopter crash victims.
On Wednesday, Vanessa, 37, broke her silence on Bryant and Gianna’s shocking deaths and announced that the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up a new charity in hopes of providing relief to the families of John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan.
“We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately,” Vanessa wrote on Instagram.
“To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy,” Vanessa wrote. “To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org.”
The Mamba Sports Foundation provides underserved Souther California communities and individuals diverse sports opportunities. The organization also provides funding for underserved athletes.
Bryant and the group were on their way to a youth basketball game at Bryant’s Mamba Academy when the aircraft crashed into a mountain at around 10 a.m., according to ESPN. The NBA legend was 41.
John, 56, was the head baseball coach at Orange Coast College. His daughter Alyssa played on Gianna’s basketball team, which Bryant coached.
John and Keri were also parents to daughter Alexis Altobelli and son J.J. Altobelli, who works as a scout for the Red Sox.
John’s brother, Tony Altobelli, told PEOPLE, “I’m numb right now, I’m numb, I’m broken, I’m going to miss him terribly. He was my brother, he was my idol growing up, also my idol as an adult. You want to live my brother did, he was straight and narrow, he worked hard and he earned the respect of everybody who ever knew him and he left a legacy that will go way beyond his time spent in Orange Coast. I don’t know how you can not want to live a life like that.”
Payton, who was on board with her mother Sarah, was also a teammate of Gianna.
Zobayan, of Huntington Beach, California, “was as skilled and as talented as a pilot as you could get. With him, it was always safety first and above and beyond that, he was doing what he loved,” said Adam Alexander, who called Zobayan a former instructor.
Mauser was a girls basketball coach at Harbor Day School in Orange County. “She loved three things so much: her husband, her three kids, and basketball. That’s who she was,” Mauser’s friend told PEOPLE.
In her statement on Wednesday, Vanessa thanked “the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time.”
“We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri,” she added.
Vanessa shared that while she is not sure how to recover from their tragic and sudden deaths, she and her family are going to “keep pushing.”
“I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way,” she said.