Central Islip family who lost mom in 2022 hit-and-run receives special Christmas surprise

A Central Islip family whose mother died in a 2022 hit-and-run got a very special Christmas surprise on Saturday night.
The five Bartolemey/Fletcher children jumped for joy as a parade of Jeeps donned in holiday decor and snow blowing fire trucks playing Christmas songs arrived at their home on Satinwood Street.
"Oh my God, it feels amazing here," 9-year-old Alora yelled. "I think everyone will be really happy now."
As snow fell, the five siblings danced with Christmas tree and gingerbread characters and even got to hug Santa and Mrs. Claus who made the trip on the fire truck.
The Christmas scene made the children and their dad forget for a moment the sadness in their hearts this holiday.
As News 12 reported, their mother, 28-year-old Cherokee Fletcher, was crossing Motor Parkway in Hauppague back in May of 2022 to get money for her son's field trip when a car struck and killed her. Her fiancé, Steven Bartolomey, who is the father of the four girls and boy, said the event helped lift the family's spirits.
"This definitely helps, especially around this time of year. Their mother was born on Christmas Day so it's like a double whammy. But you know, just having all this come together, it's heartwarming. I'm speechless," Bartolomey told News 12.
"It's so great. I wish mom was here right now," Alora added.
"It's nice to see the kids smile, and you know, I was even smiling. It picked up my spirits," said Shannon Mistretta, the children's grandmother and Cherokee's mother.
The Central Islip Fire Department collaborated with family friends, the Jeep club and Sons of Liberty to collect donated gifts and plan the event in two days.
"It's a great feeling to see all the kids all happy... through their hardship to be able to enjoy the holidays," said chief of the Central Islip Fire Department Vinny Plotino.
The kids loved their gifts but one of the youngsters pointed out the greatest gift - "The only thing that matters is family more than anything else."
Members of the Central Islip Fire Department said they do this every year.
A GoFundMe has been started to buy a headstone for Fletcher.