The families -- the parents in Guatemala , the cousins here , the close friends -- they all feel very grateful , said Cristina Deutsch , Hispanic outreach coordinator for Bloomington's Western Avenue Community Center and spokeswoman for the families
.They were in awe of this community's compassion and understanding of their situation and their loss..
But when the community heard the news about the tragedy , they responded , Deutsch
A special account set up at Twin City National City Bank branches has raised more than $25 , 000 ; a recent benefit at Bloomington's Radisson Hotel & Conference Center , where two of the men worked , raised $8 , 500 ; and special collections at Bloomington's St. Mary's Church raised about $3 , 000 , Deutsch
Contributions varied widely , from a few dollars to $1 , 000.Many people sent personal notes along with their donations.
Most weeks I commute to Bloomington and stay at the Radisson.I did not know the men who died in the horrible accident , but I am deeply saddened and wish to offer this small gesture to the family to help them with their financial responsibilities in their grief , wrote one man who sent a $100 donation.
The young men were buried in or near the small Guatemalan village of Cerro Gordo , where most of the family members live , Deutsch
The remaining money , more than $24 , 000 , will be divided among the victims' parents , most of whom reside in Guatemala ; Aguirre's widow , Areli Tapia of Bloomington ; and the couple's 4-month-old daughter , Yarira Elizet Aguirre , Deutsch
said.Each will receive $3 , 434.
Memorials are still being accepted at any Bloomington-Normal National City Bank
, or they can be mailed to the main branch at 202 E. Washington St. , Bloomington , IL 61701.Checks should be made payable to Western Avenue Community Center
for the benefit of the victims' families.
About mid-August , the account will be transferred into the name of Aguirre's infant daughter , and a trust fund will be set up for her