NORTH BEND — Nearly $60,000 was raised for the Praus family during an all-volunteer community led fundraiser and auction Saturday at the North Bend Community Center.
Hundreds showed their love and support for the family, who early last month was involved in a fatal two-car crash on Highway 101, by placing their bids on nearly 80 auction items available for sale.
“It’s beautiful to see the whole community come together and step up to help out,” said event organizer Brian Earley. “We just want the family to know we have their backs.”
The accident, which resulted in the hospitalization of Jesse Praus, 36, and 7-year-old Abby Praus, claimed the life of 10-year-old McKenna Praus-Schneider as well as Susan Dixon, 58, the driver of the other vehicle.
A community deeply saddened and affected by the loss, Earley said he and his friends quickly began thinking of ways to help the family out during their time of need.
“It started with just a small group of us, but then a bunch of other people expressed their interest and it grew from there,” said Earley. “We began working on the auction about three weeks ago and everything here was donated by businesses, families and individuals from around the community.”
All the proceeds collected from Saturday’s auction will go directly to the Praus family to assist them with their medical and household expenses. The items placed on auction ranged in value from $100 to $17,000.
According to Earley, along with their donated auction items numerous businesses also donated products and services to the event itself including Sysco, Devil’s Kitchen, North Bend Lanes, BNT Promotional Products and 7 Devils Brewing to name a few. Auctioneer Carey Jones, of Reedsport, also donated his services to facilitate the bidding.
As the auction wrapped up, a note from Jesse Praus was read aloud expressing his family’s gratitude and thanking the community for their continued support.
“It’s a real tragedy what happened to the family,” said Earley. “Hopefully this can help make things a bit easier and help everyone in their healing process.”
Anyone interested in donating to the family can still do so by visiting any Umpqua Bank.