LOS ANGELES — As the family of online adult pioneer Todd Ostrer continues to cope with his death, his friends and business associates want to give back to a man who not only inspired the people around him, but went out of his way to help others in need.
That’s why his friends are making an industrywide appeal and are asking the adult industry to help his family in any way they can.
Ostrer passed away at 43 earlier this month after suffering a heart attack.
His friends say he had been dealing with a lot of health issues, suffering through a series of strokes and heart attacks over the past few years, which took a toll on him emotionally and devastated him financially.
He leaves behind five daughters and a grandson. The youngest daughter is 10 years old.
“They literally have nothing,” said Rick Fletcher, Ostrer’s best friend and business partner of 17 years. “They desperately need help to pay for funeral expenses, medical bills and transition to life without their dad whom was their sole provider.”
“You all were family to him and why I am reaching out to all of you for a call to action for his family. In the past when one of our own was in need we all stepped up to help out and Todd was usually the first one in line if he didn’t get things started himself first. He was a generous soul and our community is and always has been too.”
Sarah Anderson, who worked for Ostrer at Webinc and now works at Fleshlight, told XBIZ that the family is coping as best as they can.
“They just lost the most important man in their lives,” Anderson said. “He was in a store with his kids when he collapsed. As you can imagine, that isn't going to be easy for anybody of any age.”
Anderson says he was an amazing man who always treated her as family and helped guide her on a path to success, staying loyal and supportive even after she left his company.
“When you worked for Todd you were as much a family member as an employee,” she said. “As a boss, he knew how to manage you and get the best from you through encouragement rather than the fear that some bosses use to garner respect. In my case, he knew that I work well independently and so he would give me tasks and then show me the trust that I would work my tail off until they were done. His nature solicited loyalty because you knew he believed in you and so you wanted to work hard not to let him down. “
Anderson said that he was there for her during one of the most difficult times in her life, when her husband died of a sudden heart attack in 2004.
“Todd was beyond supportive,” she said. “When he heard the news, he called me from the middle of a shopping trip and he was crying more than I was, which, really took some doing because I was pretty much a mess. All throughout that period, he talked to me about the pains of having loved ones leave you and made sure I knew I wasn't alone in the world.”
With the help of their old partner Peter Felix and his company Krea.com and KreAdult.com, Fletcher has put up a donation website for Ostrer’s family.
“I respectfully ask this community and those that knew Todd either personally or professionally for their help through donations in any amount and thank you in advance for your support and generosity,” Fletcher said. “It goes without saying that, in these times, it is tough for almost everyone and giving a donation in any amount is a stretch and sacrifice. However, if you can find it in your hearts to help his family it would be so greatly appreciated.”
Donations can be made by going to ToddOstrerFund.com and clicking the donation button, donating directly at any US Bank branch under the name Todd A. Ostrer Family Memorial Fund or by mailing a donation to Todd A. Ostrer Family Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 1697, Gresham, Ore., 97030.
Ostrer founded such online brands as XXXCD.com, one of the first online adult retailers, and Adults.com, one of the first online adult brands that acted as a search engine, later venturing into online retail sales with such sites as SexToyWorld.com and SafeSexMall.com.