Posted 3/24/21

From Page 1 “We are raising money to help pay for his in-home care, physical therapy and medical bills that will incur over the course of his recovery.” One last GoFundMe page was founded by a …

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From Page 1

“We are raising money to help pay for his in-home care, physical therapy and medical bills that will incur over the course of his recovery.”

One last GoFundMe page was founded by a junior at ERHS. Through the “StoneMill Crash Medical& Funeral Donations’’ page, the student intends to aid each victim’s family. It writes in his GoFundMe page’s details, “This fundraiser is to help the innocent families with expenses to cover the costs of medical and funeral bills…All funds will be split between each of the families.”

All three of the initiatives mentioned above were launched on Monday, March 15. By the next Tuesday night, above $100,000 had been accrued for the victims and their families. If readers find themselves itching to give, The Journal has linked each GoFundMe site below.

“Jack Mears Support” “Paying Tribute to Garrett Bumgarner” fund?qid=9bdfc617dcc25561f36e8e3c27e06650 “StoneMill Crash Medical& Funeral Donations” donations?qid=708137796c8c9b1473363f7a3502cda0 Numerous community members brought awareness to Woodbury’s fatal car crash of March 13th. On Monday, March 15th, South Washington County Schools’ students were highlighting the three GoFundMe pages on their social media platforms. In addition, they uploaded photos of the memorial located at Settler’s Ridge Pkwy and Sundance Way. Lastly, students used phrases such as, “Even if you can’t donate, share this on your story…” and, “My prayers go up to all the families and close friends of Garrett and the 4 other kids who were in the car” to spread awareness.

One final response to the incident worth mentioning was how a Cottage Grove teen channeled her devastation into an effort for unity.

Olivia Voerster is a twelfth grader at ERHS. Although Voerster was nothing more than a classmate to the five victims of the crash, she was deeply troubled by the tragedy. “So when I first heard [of the deadly car crash], it made me like, sad and angry…I was sad obviously that it had happened and I was angry that…such a young kid had lost their life…” Voerster recalled.

Her grief transformed into a motivation to express compassion to those who surrounded her. “…I just like, started thinking of what I could do to…try and bring hope to like other people…and help out the community,” Voerster described.

After gathering inspiration from her sister and encouragement from her mother, Voerster landed on crafting and distributing ribbons for East Ridge High School. She invited her friends to join her in reaching her goal to produce 2,000 ribbons. When The Journal spoke to Voerster on Tuesday, March 16, she and her team were approaching a total of 1,000 ribbons.

Each ribbon was gold and black to model ERHS’s school colors. In addition, a pin was attached to each ribbon. That way, recipients could pin them almost anywhere. Voerster began distributing the ribbons when high school classes in ERHS resumed on Thursday, March 18th. As she passed them out, she accepted cash donations for the families of the victims.

According to Voerster, the ribbons represent unity. She told the Journal, “They just symbolize…the community coming together and showing support for…all of the families whose sons went through that horrible accident.”

The community has been deeply wounded by March 13th’s horrid car crash in Woodbury. Still, they are coming together through movements, generosity, and social media to remember Garrett Bumgarner and to honor Connor Bro, Jack Mears, and Andrew McKevitt.

One local concluded it best, “I do have a lot of hope. The community has come together in some really good ways, which is super amazing…good things have come out of it…. even though it was such a horrible thing…a lot of big groups of people have come together to like, help make ribbons and like, and donate to GoFundMe’s, tons of money have been donated…I think that’s really cool.”