An outpouring of community support for crash victims at benefit - Republic-Times | News

An outpouring of community support for crash victims at benefit

By on August 29, 2012 at 10:32 pm
Cecenas Car Wash Benefit | 2012

From left, Elizabeth Patrick, Jacob Hooser, Jason Hooser and Jonah Hooser horse around during Sunday’s successful benefit car wash and BBQ in Waterloo. (Teryn Schaefer photo)

They flocked by the hundreds to Jaycees Park on Sunday in an effort to show support for Cameron Rubemeyer, Sam Fannon and others affected by the Aug. 6 car accident that involved five Waterloo High School students.

The benefit barbecue and car wash resulted in more than $10,000 received as donations, with several contributions earmarked to certain crash victims.

“I am overwhelmed and so very thankful to live in this town,” said Julie Wagner, one of the fundraiser organizers. “I’m not someone who has ever done anything like this in my life.”

“It was so worth it.”

Wagner and several other volunteers put together this fundraiser to help the teens and their families with medical, travel and rehabilitation expenses as a result of serious injuries suffered in the crash.

Droves of Waterloo students, parents and community members helped wash more than 600 cars, cook more than 800 meals, raffle off more than 90 donated items as part of the event.

“I just wanted to care for these two kids,” said Waterloo Junior High School student Ryan O’Guin, who pitched in by washing cars.

Family members of Abby Cecena, who lost her life in the Gall Road crash, were also selling commemorative bracelets in remembrance of her that contained the slogan “Keep Calm and Sparkle,” and were worn by the hundreds of community supporters who waited in line for about an hour and-ahalf at one point during the event to purchase food for the fundraiser.

WHS Students Cecenas Fundraiser 2012

Showing their support on Sunday, front row, from left, are Jordan Brandenburger, Rachel Magouirk and Kady Cecena; second row: Tiffany Melching, Emma Meadors, Mariah Isaacs and Alyssa Miller; top row: Reid Hoffmann, Taylor Vernier, Austin Campbell, Steven Schad, Sean O’Guin, Sydney Simunich and Colton Hearty. (Teryn Schaefer photo)

Rubemeyer’s parents both left the hospital for the first time since the accident to attend Sunday’s fundraiser.

“When we saw all the cars, my eyes welled up with tears. To see so many people volunteering their day for these teenagers was astounding,” said Dawn Rubemeyer, Cameron’s mother. “I hope someday soon our son can fully understand what took place today… God knows we’re still trying.”

Fannon’s brothers were in attendance in place of their parents, who were unable to attend.

“We want everyone to know that Tim had planned to attend the fundraiser today, but couldn’t make it due to Sam’s condition. Words cannot express how grateful we are to live in such a wonderful community as Waterloo and for the unbelievable kindness of friends, neighbors and complete strangers who have reached out to us,” said Kim Fannon, Sam’s mother. “Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.”

Organizers will continue to accept donations and request that checks be made out to State Bank of Waterloo and dropped off to John Wagner at the Monroe County Health Department. Alternately, you can email Julie Wagner for more information at

Wagner also pointed out that funds for each of the families are in the works.

Teryn Schaefer

Teryn was born and raised in Waterloo, growing up watching local sports and Mon-Clair baseball. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri Journalism School and loves cheering on her Tigers any chance she gets.