About Us / About Cooper

Welcome to CooperStocksWay.org. We are a non-profit organization set up in memory of Cooper Dean Stock, who was killed at age 9 on January, 2014 by a reckless taxi driver in New York City.


We support VISION ZERO and we are actively seeking to change the laws and behaviors of drivers. New York’s families deserve and expect safe streets. But today in New York, approximately 4,000 New Yorkers are seriously injured and more than 250 are killed each year in traffic crashes. Reckless driving is the leading cause of injury-related death for children under 14, and the second leading cause for seniors. On average, drivers seriously injure or kill a New Yorker every two hours.

We also support Families for Safe Streets which you can read about here.


About Cooper:

From Cooper’s Mother

When my son Cooper Stock was born on August 9, 2004, the first thing the doctor said (after “It’s a boy!”) was that he came out “sunny side up.” Most babies are born with their heads facing down, but his was up. During his short but meaningful life here on earth, he truly embodied that sentiment.

Cooper was a kid who loved to laugh. He found humor in almost everything. He was very noisy and never sat still. He wanted to be a part of every conversation.  A friend of mine said “he was the life of the party even when there wasn’t a party.”

People of all ages gravitated to him because he was comfortable with just about anyone. Whether you were young or old, Cooper had something to talk to you about.  He loved babies and often asked to hold them. He was buddies with the doormen in our building as many of them shared his love of sports. First, he loved baseball, but then I could see him gravitate toward basketball, because it was fast. Lots of movement, lots of energy. Just like him.

As a family we spent a lot of time listening to music at home and in our car. The first song that Cooper went crazy over was “Snow (hey, oh)” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He must have made us listen to it over a million times. He loved the Beatles. He wanted to understand everything in the greatest of detail.  For example, what happened when Eric Clapton fell in love with George Harrison’s wife? Did they remain friends, what happened to the wife, etc.

Every night when Cooper went to bed, we would listen to music together. He was my “Goodie Guy” and I was his “Mother Hen.” Cooper’s favorite song was “Little Wing” by Jimi Hendrix. He would choose the songs from my iPod that he knew I loved. Cooper was excellent at the art of stalling. When it was time for bed and I said “One last song…” he inevitably chose the longest song that there was on my iPod. He would look at me with a smile, both of us knowing what he was up to.

He absolutely loved chocolate. If he could have it for every meal he would have.
Every night he would say to me in the sweetest voice, “What about the dessert menu?” Cooper believed that a person should have dessert after every meal, no matter what. He would have made it a law if he could have.

What I will always remember about my son was his search for the truth. He wanted to understand how things happened and why. When I had to tell him that there are certain things we just have no answers for, he was indignant.  There will never be a satisfactory explanation as to why Cooper died so young. But I know that he would have demanded to know the truth. And the truth is that we live in a society where reckless driving kills children (and adults) at an astonishing rate.

Putting out this message is my calling. Cooper would have expected me to make sure that his life had meaning and this is how I can do so. I will continue to devote my time to working on eradicating this terrible epidemic. Through education and action, I know changes can be made in honor of Cooper. His death will mean that many others will live.

With your help, I plan to keep Cooper’s legacy alive.

Dana Lerner


From others who knew and loved Cooper Stock

Happy birthday coopie!
Today you would’ve turned 10! I know you’re doing well in the little pink house you spoke so much about and I know that one day, I will be there with you. It’s been incredibly hard without you here but the thoughts of our memories are what keep you alive in my heart as well as in the mind and hearts of others. I made a list of the five things I love and miss about you the most.
1: Your smile. It was so cheerful and bright that it could light up the night sky.
2: Your hugs! I will never get the same feeling that I got when I hugged you. Your hugs had this warmth that was irreplaceable and completely unique to you. I made sure I squeezed you every time and never wanted to let go.
3: Your passion. I had never met someone who had the same love for basketball as I do. The passion for basketball is what brought us together and made us as close as we were.
4: Your laugh. Your laugh was contagious. It had a ripple effect that made it hard for anyone around you not to grin. I couldn’t help but smile when I saw you laugh.
5: Our talks. One talk that stands out to me and forever will, was right before our game against Trevor day. I was telling you how nervous I was and you inspired me by reminding me to “just play” and that’s exactly what I did. From then on that’s what I’ve done. After every made basket I make sure to point to the sky cause I know your watching. I was given two bracelets one with your name on it and another with Knicks written on it, I make sure to never take them off.

The one thing I wish I could’ve told you was how much I loved you. I cared about you and still care about so much. You have been and will forever be the largest inspiration in my life. I found a new meaning to working hard and know that I have someone always looking down on me. You are truly an angel Cooper and I was blessed to have known someone like you. Sometimes people are beautiful, Not necessarily only in the way they look, but just the way they are. You, cooper, were and always will be beautiful to me. I love you so much coop!

Thank you Jackie Kern for helping me work at Coops Hoops this previous week! It was a great experience and i was told it was much more energized then usual. Coopers spirit was in the gym all week!

From Jeremy Quezada

Note: Vladimir Alexander, who coached Cooper at Kids of Summer, posted this on Facebook from Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand, where he’s teaching English this winter.

Jackie Robinson once said that “A life is only important in the effect it has on other lives.” I always related that quote to prominent political figures. Not to say us regular people aren’t important but that quote always struck me as referring to an extraordinary greatness.

I had the pleasure of coaching Cooper for about a month this past summer. He wasn’t one of the best players and he wasn’t a behavioral issue (generally the players remembered best fall into one of those two categories ). Cooper was cool and not like a kid cute, an adult cool; even tempered and precocious. Win or lose he’d brush the outcome of the game off like he had more important things in his nine year old world to worry about. He would talk Knicks off season signings and in the next breath he’d tell a filthy joke, usually a good one that you could use later. When he would walk over to sit and eat lunch with the coaches (our only break from the kids in a 7 hour day), we let him.

Cooper Stock was killed by a cab last Friday crossing 97th street with his dad. He’s pictured below with in the flyers cap. I got the aforementioned quote wrong. Despite it being my job to ensure he had a good time as his coach, his presence at camp was a positive impact on my day everyday. The other kids liked being around him as did the coaches. I think Cooper personified the subtle intended meaning behind that quote. He was a very important kid.

Dear Dana and Richard,

We are so sorry for your loss. All of us were devastated to learn of Cooper’s passing. Cooper was a kid every coach looked forward to coaching. At a job where we see literally hundreds of kids every year, Cooper always managed to stand out. It wasn’t because he could hit the ball the farthest or throw the ball the hardest. It was because he was, well, Cooper.

You couldn’t say his name without smiling while saying it. Coop-a-loop! And he’d smile back, that goofy mischievous grin. Coaches liked to say his name, to see him flash that smile. There was something behind that smile that somehow told you he was somehow in on the joke. In the comedy and chaos that is youth baseball, he seemed to recognize it for what it was: a game to be played for fun.

In the last few days, coaches past and present have talked about the way he was able to connect with people much older than him. You could see the thoughts spinning in his head, the wheels always turning, thinking of something to say that would, at the very least, make your eyebrows go up a couple notches.

We are so thankful to you guys for sharing Cooper with us those few hours each week, for allowing all of us to get to know such a special, funny little guy. Wherever he is, he’s definitely making someone smile. And just as memorable in life, he will live on in the memories of all the people who ever got to meet him.

Our deepest condolences,
Cooper’s Coaches

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