PARAMUS, N.J. — Fourth-grade students here came together Saturday to raise funds for the victims of a fatal school bus crash on May 17 that killed two people and injured every other passenger on board, NorthJersey.com reports.
The students held a daylong fundraiser, selling magnets, T-shirts, and lawn signs at the Paramus Elks Lodge parking lot, with the goal of raising $100,000 for their peers, according to NorthJersey.com. Debbie Seife, one of the mothers who helped organize the event, told the news source that the group had collected at least $18,000 that afternoon, not including online donations that were expected to come in over the weekend. Seife added that the students would continue fundraising through partnerships with local businesses on Tuesday.
The community has also hosted memorial services and a public vigil to honor victims, and a pancake breakfast to raise donations, according to the news source. Additionally, a local gala will be held on June 19 to raise funds for a memorial service at East Brook Middle School.
The students who held the fundraiser will be fifth graders at the middle school next year, and had friends, siblings, and teachers who rode on the bus in the crash. Teacher Jennifer Williamson-Kennedy and student Miranda Vargas, 10, died in the crash.
As SBF previously reported, Hudy Muldrow Sr., the driver of one of three school buses that was taking East Brook Middle School fifth-graders to Waterloo Village for a field trip, reportedly was trying to make a U-turn, and collided with a dump truck. The crash ripped the undercarriage of the bus away from the body. Muldrow, whose license had been suspended 14 times and was issued 16 driving violations for speeding, was charged with two counts of reckless vehicular homicide/death by auto.