A woman who lost her five children and her boyfriend in a fire Sunday has felt the support of the community, her spokesman said Wednesday.
Anna Angel has been sitting at Burger King, her place of employment, periodically over the past couple of days, watching people walk in. They've been making donations at the restaurant.
People don't necessarily know her, said Keith Hodkinson, spokesman for Angel and her family.
PHOTO BY JILL GOSCHE
The sign at Tiffin’s Burger King Wednesday evening encourages people to think of Anna Angel, whose children and boyfriend died in a fire Sunday.
"These people come into Burger King in tears. Everybody can relate," he said.
Hodkinson said it is nice to see everyone come together.
"That's what this town is so special for. You wouldn't get this in a big city," he said.
Hodkinson said Lisa Stromeier - a grief counselor with Touchstone Counseling Services in Columbus, which works with Carrols Corp., the owner of Tiffin's Burger King - was in town to assist with grief counseling for employees and Angel.
Hodkinson and Stromeier were talking about Tiffin, and a person with tears in their eyes handed the restaurant's manager a check.
Hodkinson recalled saying, "Isn't that amazing?"
Stromeier said, "(I am) moved by the generosity of the community, and I've never seen a community come together to support someone and just donate unceasingly," Hodkinson said.
Hodkinson said as of the close of business Tuesday, nearly $16,000 had been deposited at US Bank, with the money in the account to pay for burial costs and getting Angel back on her feet.
"She lost everything," he said.
In addition, an account to help with funeral and burial costs for Timothy Fresch, who was Angel's boyfriend, was established at www.giveforward.com and had raised more than $13,800, and an account at www.gofundme.com had raised nearly $2,000 as of Wednesday evening.
The total in the account at US Bank did not include a $22,500 pledge by The Game and Drake, two rappers who are donating through Robin Hood Project.
Hodkinson said he talked with The Game for about half an hour Tuesday and described him as a nice, Christian man. As of Wednesday, officials were working on transferring paperwork for the donation.
The Game is giving $10,000, Drake is giving $10,000 and the production company for the reality show "Marrying The Game" is giving $2,500, he said.
Also, a person who wished to remain anonymous donated a 2001 Subaru Forester for Angel Wednesday, he said. The person is going to put tires on the vehicle before giving it to her.
Hodkinson said Angel has been riding her bicycle and walks in the snow to get to her job.
Officials want to make sure Angel gets the proper counseling and that everyone is there to support her and get her back on her feet financially and emotionally, he said.
Wednesday was visitation at the funeral home for the children, and Hodkinson said Angel was coping unbelievably well. The funerals are today.
Benefits set up for the family include cake, cookie, photography, wooden semi bank and gift basket auctions. Benefits also include bracelet sales and the donation of 20 percent of sales at a business. Also, Thirty One and Scentsy representatives are donating their sales commissions, and Tiffin-Seneca Heritage Festival has decided to donate its guitar raffle funds to the family of the victims.
A benefit at Tiffin Eagles is being planned for Oct. 26. There also is to be a benefit at Tiffin Eagles Saturday.
Scott Keefe, who is planning a benefit ride Saturday that is to leave from Tiffin Eagles, never has met Angel, who is to benefit from the event's proceeds.
"I had a brainstorm," he said.
Keefe, whose daughter is an emergency medical technician for Bascom EMS who responded to the fire and knows the family, said he thought of having a benefit because he has children.
"I don't know what I would do if I ever lost (my children)," he said.
Registration is 10-11 a.m. in the parking lot. The vehicles are to leave at 11 a.m. and return at 4 p.m. The ride includes stops at Bellevue Eagles, Fremont Eagles, Clyde VFW and Margaritaville.
The event also is to include raffles, and Keefe is trying to have a meal provided for riders upon their return.
Motorcycles are to lead the benefit ride, but the event is open to other vehicles.
"It really doesn't matter. It's all for the benefit for this," he said.