Jim Sullivan saw his brother Dan for the last time at a funeral last October.
"We're at the grave side and the family is crying and he goes, 'I never want that. I want a party. I want people singing. Then, five days later...."
Dan Sullivan died from a heart attack Oct. 31, 2011 at the age of 57.
His brother and others are creating the Dan Sullivan Foundation to provide charitable contributions to those in need and scholarships for students who "reflect the qualities that define Dan's life" while keeping his memory alive.
"Danny was a great family man," said close friend Jim Peters, who helped bring Sullivan into his career in the insurance business. "He was a great father, husband, athlete and friend to many. We want to celebrate his life by helping people through scholarships or helping those who need it.
"Making people's lives a little better. This is a good way to keep Danny's spirit alive."
The Dan Sullivan Foundation will hold its first event 7 p.m. May 5 at Albertus Magnus High School. Tickets cost $100 an include food, beverages, entertainment and entry into a $10,000 grand prize drawing. The entertainment includes musical performances by Joe D'Urso & Stone Caravan, Zulu Wave, Tim O'Donohue and others.
Jim Sullivan, a sergeant with the Orangetown Police Department, had helped to organize a similar event before for former Orangetown Police Officer Mike Sullivan (no relation).
"It seemed a natural," Jim Sullivan said. "(Dan) loved music. He loved to party. He loved Albertus. That was a big part of his life. He went to St. Margaret (School in Pearl River)."
The Dan Sullivan Foundation will award scholarships to a boy and girl graduating from Albertus Magnus High School and a boy and girl graduating from the St. Margaret School and going on to Albertus.
Dan Sullivan grew up in Pearl River and was a star basketball player at Albertus Magnus. He went on to be a 1,000-point scorer in basketball at Dominican College and was eventually named to the hall of fame for both schools. He will also be inducted into the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame April 29.
He worked as an insurance agent for over 30 years, most of them for Allstate in New City.
"Someone came into his office a year ago and didn't have money (for his insurance bill)," Jim Sullivan said. "(Dan) paid his insurance bill, about $3,000. We will have a trust fund so if some tragedy happens, we will be able to say, 'Here is some money from Dan Sullivan.' Just to keep his memory alive."
"Danny was a very giving person," Peters said. "He liked to give to people in need. He was always helping people out behind the scenes without much fanfare."
The line "Here comes the sun...and it's all right" was chosen for the foundation to reflect Sullivan's personality.
"He always had a nice thing to say to people in good times or bad," Peters said.
"I used to talk to him four times a day," Jim Sullivan said. "People kept saying your brother used to call me twice a day. We wondered did he ever do any work? He was always talking to people.
"He was just a good guy who went way too quick."
For tickets to the Dan Sullivan Foundation event May 5, click here or contact Jim Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org (845) 548-2040.