It's been a rough week following the fatal crash between an SUV and a Lafayette High School bus carrying the school's baseball team. Four people were killed in the SUV, LaDonna Cheatham; her son, Markus; her daughter, Destiny; and her nephew, DeWayne Escort.
The costs associated with funeral arrangements for the victim's families are quite a burden, prompting a fundraiser held Friday at Lafayette High.
“At this time, we'll have a moment of silence, so we can think about ourselves, our lives, and those people that surround our lives,” said LHS principal, Dr. Patrick Leonard, who spoke to the school through the intercom.
It was a somber moment for students and faculty remembering the four victims in last week's accident. But that somber moment was followed by the outpouring of love and support for the victims' families.
The initial goal was to raise $2,000, but before noon, $9,000 had already rolled in.
“That is exceptional. It shows your character, integrity, compassion,” Dr. Leonard told the school.
The money came from people all over the area, students, teachers, faculty, even complete strangers—many who simply empathize with the tragic situation.
“I feel like as a parent and a grandmother, we need to help those victims,” said donor, Judy Robichaux. “I just feel saddened that it happened to them and my heart is heavy.”
No donation—small or large—went unnoticed. For countless students, it's been a lesson of compassion.
“I'm surprised. I think its crazy $9,000 dollars there's only 2,000 students,” said Brooklyn Young, a sophomore at LHS. “I think it's good and that Lafayette High is really good at getting together and supporting each other.”
“It shows Acadiana is very strong community and can lift up during crises that you can't get through alone,” said Bryson Vallier, also an LHS student.
The amount of funds collected is sure to grow with the fundraiser continuing at LHS on Monday.