In an effort to show community support and goodwill for the families of Heidy Martinez and Jaycoby Estrada, Blair resident Aarron Meeves said he's been spreading the word about the upcoming Blair Strong - Martinez and Estrada Fundraiser at South Creek Wedding and Events from 2 to 6 p.m. Sept. 22.
"I just thought this was a good way to show that the community cares and can pull together in such tragic times," said Meeves, who is organizing the fundraiser.
Martinez died July 5 in a rollover accident on County Road 18, a half-mile west of County Road 23. Estrada died Aug. 23 after being struck by a semi while riding his bicycle across the intersection at Washington and 19th streets.
Meeves said he has been going to various Blair businesses to post fliers and collect donations for a silent auction at the event. All proceeds from the auction will go to the Martinez and Estrada families.
"I think it's going to be a big event," he said. "I've already got a list of 45 to 50 people and I've got another lady helping me. I don't know how long her list is, but we're going to try to get every establishment on board before the end of the week."
Individuals can also donate cash or checks can be made out to South Creek at the fundraiser, he said.
"South Creek will cash those checks and both those families will walk away with equal halves of all the proceeds," Meeves said.
South Creek will also provide food at the event. Attendees will pay for food and drinks, with some of the proceeds also going to the Martinez and Estrada families.
"South Creek Wedding and Events has been an incredible resource for us," said Molly Meeves, Aarron's wife. "Not only did they immediately offer to donate their space, but they have been very involved in the planning."
Meeves' band, Rustic Gold, with guest guitarists from the Nuclear Bees, The Oddits and Revival Band will provide music during the event.
Aarron said the event is a way for the community to provide a "personal touch" to support the families through their difficult circumstances.
"It's a very hard thing to go through," he said. "I thought it would be a good way to help heal the community in a way ... (The families) have GoFundMe pages, but that doesn't put a face to anything. I thought this was a more personal touch that I know small communities can do. The response has just been overwhelming, and it's been heartwarming."