Alexis “Lexy” Hughan grew up in the artistic community.
At the age of 3, Hughan began taking piano and dance lessons at Infinity Visual and Performing Arts. Her artistic abilities were developed and nurtured over the ensuing years as she expanded her artistic journey with a variety of instruments, dance lessons and art.
It became apparent to all who knew her that Hughan’s passion and talent as an artist, musician, actor and dancer created a light around her that shone brightest when she shared her talents with others. .
On December 31, 2021, Hughan’s light went out when she was tragically killed in a hit-and-run accident in Jamestown. She was 15 years old.
“Lexy was special” said Shane Hawkins, executive director of Infinity. “She was an Infinity student, but she was so much a part of Infinity for 12 years.”
In the days, weeks and months that followed, not only did the arts community rally around Hughan’s friends and family to honor Jamestown High School’s sophomore year, but so did the community.
From the Jamestown Municipal Building lit with Hughan’s favorite colors and a makeshift memorial created at the corner of Sixth and Washington streets to a celebration of life that filled the pews of First Covenant Church, it was clear no one was going let Hughan’s light fade.
“We are overwhelmed by the amount of support and awareness the community has shown in memory of Lexy,” said his parents, Sara Rafaloski and Jeffrey Hughan. “We are grateful to everyone who has helped and continues to help make Lexy’s dreams come true.”
Although young, Hughan’s dream was to find a way for people to express themselves through the arts. Recently, a collaborative effort between Infinity and Jamestown High School’s Class of 2024 helped bring Hughan’s dream to life.
Proceeds from Infinity’s fundraising event, including autographed sports memorabilia, led to the creation of an agency endowment fund to enrich the lives of future Infinity students.
Infinity’s Lexy Hughan Memorial Fund will be administered by the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and distribute grants to the arts organization each year. This is the foundation’s first fund set up to directly benefit Infinity.
According to Hawkins, the fund will support additional classes and programs, with input from Hughan’s parents, as to what would have been important to Hughan.
“Lexy understood the powerful impact artistic mentorship has on young people and regularly shared many lesson ideas,” Hawkins said. “We hope that by starting this permanent fund in Lexy’s name, these classes, and her name, will continue to be a part of Infinity, forever.”
Contributions to the fund were also raised by Hughan’s classmates at Jamestown High School through a flower sale. Class representatives also reached out to all Jamestown Public School buildings to organize a collection in Hughan’s memory. In total, they raised $2,000 to add to the fund.
“We hope that by helping our class with Lexy’s fund, the community will remember what a wonderful person she was and that it will provide other students with the opportunity to experience the arts she loved. so much.” said JHS Class of 2024 representatives Ella Storms and Sydney Maggio.
Donations to Infinity’s Lexy Hughan Memorial Fund can be made through the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation by mailing a check to 418 Spring St., Jamestown or online with a credit card at crcfonline.org.
“We can’t say enough how much we appreciate the support Infinity has given our family during this time,” Sara and Jeff said. “We also greatly appreciate the JHS Class of 2024. It is especially gratifying that Lexy has reached out to her peers in a way that has inspired them to give back to her dreams.”