Fundraiser by Garden Catering Created in Memory of Colleague

A GoFundMe page has been set up by Garden Catering in Old Greenwich in memory of Geovanny “Geo” Tapia-Zuniga, a longtime employee at the eatery’s downtown Stamford location.

Mr. Tapia-Zuniga, 33, of a Bridgeport was unresponsive after being pulled from the water at Fairfield’s Lake Mohegan on Sunday, Aug 18 by the town’s police dive team.

Police received a report of a swimmer in distress at the lake around 6:45pm. Bystanders and family had tried to get Mr. Tapia-Zuniga back to shore but couldn’t keep him above water.  Around 7:20pm the Fairfield Police dive team pulled him from the water, but he was unresponsive.

Fairfield Police Lt Robert Kalamaris said witnesses told them Mr. Tapia-Zuniga was outside the designated swim area when he submerged. The swim area is marked by buoys and signs, but since 2011 he is the third person to perish. A 39-year-old Shelton man drowned there in 2011, and a 10-year-old Bridgeport girl in 2012.

The lake drops off quickly from 4 ft deep to about 20 ft deep beyond the swim area. Lifeguards go off duty at 6:00pm. Mr. Tapia-Zuniga was pronounced dead later that night at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport.

Garden Catering co-workers are collecting donations for Mr. Tapia-Zuniga’s funeral costs.

“He was a great friend, a hard-working employee and devoted family man,” the GoFundMe page says, adding that Tapia-Zuniga leaves behind a wife and 5-year-old son. “He worked hard to support his family as well as his father who is battling cancer.”

Tapia-Zuniga was born in Ecuador where he will be laid to rest.