FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – The goal of raising $40,000 for the families of the four Angola boys killed in an Alabama car crash last weekend has been met and exceeded.
After more than 34 hours of on-air fundraising, Oasis Radio Group stations U.S. 93.3 and HOT 107.9 reached their goal around 4:15 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.
That's thanks in large part to a $5,000 contribution from Jim Irsay of the Indianapolis Colts and $3,000 from Angola Middle School.
Another round of gratitude goes out to Steuben and Dekalb County National Guard Recruiter Spc. Ryan Leach.
Leach, a 22-year-old native of Garrett, raised more than $5,300 dollars at the Angola Armory in less than two days.
"Whatever we could get to help this cause was great but when I closed the doors at 4 o'clock brought the 5,002 dollars down here. I was definitely happy," said Leach.
Oasis Radio Group General Manager Phil Becker said not only did Northeast Indiana residents donate, people from as far away as Alabama, Florida and California donated money.
Meanwhile, many of the people who were touched by this tragedy have been young people.
"I think it helps with the grieving process of the people who lost those people to show that not only just the community of Angola but this whole region is coming together to support them," said IPFW Student Breanne Bennett, one of the hundreds of young people to donate money.
"Young people have definitely shown their power in this community," said Hot 107.9 Morning Show Co-Host Alana.
"I think a lot of times they have been overlooked as being a force but if you're not recognizing them now then your totally out of the loop because they are the ones that really stepped up through all this," said Alana, one half of Hot 107.9's Triple A Show.
Meanwhile, HOT 107.9's sister station was credited by Oasis Radio Group General Manager with approaching him about the idea.
“I have never seen something like this come together so quickly. And if you would have told me that in less than two days you'd be reaching your goal, I would have said that's crazy. But it's happening," said U.S. 93.3 Morning Show Co-Host A.J. Maguire.
A special concert by London-born and Nashville based country star David Bradley was held at Oasis Radio Group Wednesday night for everyone who donated $10 or more.
"We've all lost people and we know what it's like that we need those people... we need that extra support," said IPFW Student Samantha Allred, who is originally from Albion, Indiana.
The final total is still being calculated but Oasis Radio Group General Manager Phil Becker said the grand total should be around $65,000 dollars.
Becker said the money will be split evenly between the four families sometime early next month.
All four families have contacted the radio stations to say thanks for keeping their sons' memories alive through this fundraiser.
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