MONTICELLO, Ill. (WCIA) – When one woman found out that her friend’s teen son died in a car crash, she knew she had to do something. So, she planned a big fundraiser Saturday to support the family, and people across several communities pitched in.
“Quickly within day two, I had people from all over central Illinois wanting to donate, wanting to help,” Kellie Champion said.
On July 12, four Central A&M students were on their way to lift weights with the football team when they got in a car crash. 15-year-old Keegan Virden and 16-year-old Conner Rowcliff both died.
Champion’s husband worked with Virden’s father. She said a small group of volunteers turned into a team of people who just wanted to help the Virden family.
Once the word got out, she said donations came pouring in – including food, live music and auction items. Champion said many people there didn’t even know each other. They showed up to support a family going through an unthinkable tragedy.
“This definitely has restored my faith in humanity. It will make you feel different – just to come here and see complete strangers that have come together to help someone because I can’t imagine losing your child, especially at 15 years old,” she said.
She said it’ll take about a week to get the money they raised to the family, so there’s still time for people to send monetary donations if they weren’t able to make it to the fundraiser. They’ve already raised almost $30,000 for the family online, and if you’d like to contribute, you can visit the fundraiser page.