An Acadiana T-shirt and graphics company is reporting a huge response to the “Lafayette Strong” T-shirts it designed to help victims of Thursday night’s tragic shooting.
Grafx Plus owner Eric Britt said the proceeds from the sales of the shirt will be donated to a fund to benefit those who were wounded and killed in the shooting that took place at the Grand Theater in Lafayette.
“I think since we started, we’ve printed more than 700 (shirts) and all of those are gone,” Britt said. “Most of them have been ordered online.”
The shirt features a logo that includes the Acadian flag, a fleur de lis and the slogan “Lafayette Strong.” Britt said all of the proceeds from the sales, including the cost, will be given to a victims fund.
“I’m donating the shirts, the ink and my time,” he added.
Another effort led by Our Savior’s Church in Lafayette has been collecting donations and selling shirts with the logo, “Love Acadiana.” The account, set up by the church under the name Love Acadiana, is called The Grand Theatre Benefit Fund and has been established at Iberia Bank.
Our Savior’s Church has branches in Lafayette, Broussard and Opelousas and lists Jacob Aranza as the church’s pastor. Church executives Tim and Katie Kirkpatrick are listed as directors on the website LoveAcadiana.org.
“The fund started because individuals in our congregation wanted to know what they could do to help,” pastor Don Norman said. “So we have asked pastor Jay Miller and Kenneth Toups, a local CPA with Helm Financial, to help us and they will assist our pastoral team in distributing the funds.”
Norman said the fund is dedicated to support families of victims who were killed, as well as those who were wounded in the shooting.
“We are in the process of contacting them to assess needs,” Norman added. “Zero percent is going to administration costs or anything like that. Literally 100 percent is going to the victims. That is why we enlisted outside professionals to help.”
Other initiatives have also been going strong.
Brothers on the Boulevard is selling brand name Southern Marsh T-shirts, with an Acadian flag and duck motif, and donating the profits after the cost of the shirt. Sales manager Alicia Abdalla Mouton said the Louisiana company is also donating some of its profits to the effort.
“So far we’ve sold about 685,” said Mouton. “And more orders are coming in. This is while supplies last so we are close to selling out.”
Mouton estimated that the sales have generate roughly $10,000 for the victims.
“It’s been crazy and overwhelming, but for a great reason,” she said.