CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The family of a Chicopee High School graduate who recently died of an overdose is trying to turn their personal tragedy into something positive for someone else, while keeping the memory of their loved one alive.

They're focused on making college a little less expensive for a current Chicopee student.

Xzavier Ellias Lopez was just 22 when he died of an overdose last November.

The graduate of Chicopee High was a stand-out athlete both on and off the mat but instead of college, he took his talents to the U.S. Army.

"He was always the type of person who tried to help somebody," said Xzavier's brother, Eddie Lopez.

Xzavier's family said that one picture in particular is one of their favorites because it came with a caption.

"Where did I park my yacht, right? Because he always said he was going to be rich and famous and he was going to buy a yacht. [He's got some bling over there to show it] Ya, it's funny because he wrote yacht, he spelt it wrong. His brother said how the heck you going to buy a yacht if you can't even spell it?" said Mary Barcome, Xzavier's stepmother

Now, just a few months removed from his death, Xzavier's family told Western Mass News they're doing what they can to make sure his memory is not forgotten by creating a scholarship in his name.

This Friday is their first fundraiser.

"It starts at 6 p.m. and goes until 11. We have live entertainment, food. Tickets are only $7 at the door. It's at 754 Montgomery Street in Chicopee at Amvets," Barcome added.

All the money going to the most deserving graduating senior at Chicopee High this year.

"It's all, the proceeds are just going to go to a student," Barcombe said.

The family added, "Whatever they're going to use it for, we hope that they use it in a good way. Yup, live your life."

There are not many requirements for this scholarship. You just have to be a wrestler going to a two or four year university or you could be a part of the proud one percent who served this great nation.

The family told us that if you would like to contribute to the scholarship, you can do so by making a check payable to Chicopee High School and sending it to the school.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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