As mentioned, there's been one helluva show of support for our family after Renee's accident. It's really been a source of comfort for her parents, which, as a frequent guest at the breakfast table, I certainly appreciate as well.
There's been a slew of window stickers, shirts and other goods that have been sold by her friends to raise money. A friend of mine from the bar I work at is also a Zumba instructor, and she held a special Zumba session with all proceeds going to the family. Renee also worked at a local Kilwin's creamery, and her bosses and co-workers really stepped up to help as well.
Eisenhower Drive in nearby Hanover is locally famous for bein' a place to go cruise and hang out on a Friday night, yet another of Renee's favorite pastimes. Some friends of hers organized a memorial cruise, and asked for as many big trucks and rebel flags as possible. A memorial service was also held and donations were collected. I couldn't pull off the big truck part, but I did bring the ol' Battle Flag out of retirement for the occasion.
Renee loved all this new country music, and consequently spent a lot of time callin' the local country station, going to concerts and dancin' at the local line dance club, Tractor Twang, held by said country station. The DJs there also stepped up, and got in top-ten artist Chase Bryant to hold a benefit concert at a recent Twang. Video here. It was very neat when they announced that we'd set a new attendance record for Twang that evenin'. It should also be noted that Mr. Bryant offered to do this, at no charge, as soon as he heard the news about Renee. Definitely a class act.
The DJ even reached out to other country stars that Renee had met to put together a video for the family. Video here. I still can't stand most of this new country music, but after all this, I guess I have a little more respect for some of the folks that sing it.
The amount of donations has been so great that my aunt and uncle have started a memorial fund to put it in. Once established, they will use it as they see fit to benefit kids in agriculturally-related pursuits.
It's really been a blessin' how much good has been shown outta a tragedy. It really makes one start to have faith in humanity once again. It definitely makes one proud to live in a small town with good people and strong values.