A weekend of benefit concerts at the Chrome Lounge near South 84th Street and Park Drive concludes Sunday night. The money raised goes to help the seven children who lost their parents in a crash south of West Point, Nebraska a week ago.
We're told that Frank and Yvonne Pivonka did not have life insurance.
It took a cellphone locator to track down the couple. The area where they crashed was so far off the beaten path that family members drove by it several times in their search around West Point and didn't see a thing. The wreckage was eventually found in an area dense with trees. Frank and Yvonne were thrown from their vehicle. The Cuming County Sheriff's Department is still investigating the cause of the accident.
"How our parents loved us and memories of my dad singing to us," said Angel Pivonka. "When he was at home he would just break out singing."
Angel is the eldest and feels the weight of the world with her parents gone. It’s hard for her to find words for Abby, the youngest child who is 3. "It's really hard watching her. She doesn't know what's going on. She doesn't understand. It's hard seeing the innocence."
The children are trying to remember the good times amidst the grief. They've been laughing and smiling as a family for so long, but it seems difficult to do it now. Sabrina is the second oldest at 19 and says it’s difficult “to know that I can't go to my mom and dad anymore.”
The Pivonkas know they have each other and an extended family, including a number of bands that wanted to help. All agree that Frank and Yvonne would do the same if the roles were reversed.
Yvonne’s youngest sister, Cathy Cattlett, has two kids of her own and just added seven more to her home. She was raised to believe that family is everything. “They've always known they could come to me with anything, with our highs and lows. I've always been here for them, now more than ever to be that rock that they need.”
Perhaps in the rhythms of life that's where we may find our place in the story, ready for the next note, solo or in some cases down beat. "What really brought it home to me about my son is, he must have been some beautiful person to affect this many people in his life,” Frank Pivonka said.
But what if the music fades off forever and your time on stage, or the stage of life, is over and taken far too soon? And so too the song ceases for Frank and Yvonne Pivonka who were killed in a car crash a week ago.
But instead of silence Frank’s parents say, the beat goes on, raising money for the family through raffles and taking donations at the door. "Omaha is full of a bunch of wonderful beautiful people that come together and in times like this. There's seven kids, you know, I mean everyone knew Frank and Yvonne, we were close,” David Dahir, Coordinator with the fundraiser said.
The last of three days worth of benefit concerts at Chrome Lounge wrapped up Sunday and Frank’s father and step mother were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support but not in full regret, capturing a photo of the family camping just days before the accident.
"They all sat across that car dolly and I got the most beautiful picture that I could think of, of my little family there,” Pivonka said.
With all the money raised through the event, will all go to support all 7 of children’s college education. Frank was also the front man of Sidecar 69, there is another concert next week at Stinson Park featuring the band and that money will also go to help the family.