Last week, a tragic crash on U. S. 167 south of Maurice claimed the life of 18-year-old Ramsie Baumgardner.

Now, the community is stepping up to help the North Vermilion High School senior's family.

Shawn Boudoin owns Southbound Timber Works. Earlier this week, he held a raffle for a custom-made American flag. Boudoin says he raised more than $500 through that raffle. On top of that, Boudoin, who also works fulltime in the oil field, asked his boss at his day job to match the funds he raised through the raffle. The boss obliged, bringing the total amount raised by Boudoin to nearly $1,100.

"I actually work with Ramsie's parrain," Boudoin said. "It hit him hard whenever (the crash) happened. I have two daughters, and I couldn't imagine to lose one of them.

"It's unexpected--the cost of everything," Boudoin added. "Whether they put it towards the medical bills or the funeral costs, every little bit helps. I just like to help people as much as possible."

Boudoin says he's received an outpouring of interest in his raffle, so he's holding another one.

Boudoin says anyone who's interested in buying a raffle ticket or making a donation to his cause can call him at 337-344-8611.

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe account set up to help Baumgardner's family cover medical and funeral expenses continues to grow.

The members of UL's Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, of which Baumgardner's brother is a member, set up that account. Their initial goal was to raise $10,000. They reached that mark in less than 24 hours. As of Friday at 11 a.m., that GoFundMe has nearly $36,000 in donations.

"Thoughts and prayers lift the spirit and heal the soul, but in times like these the tangible act of a financial donation can lift a burden no parent should ever have to bear," Lee Wood, an alumnus of the Zeta Omega chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha wrote on Facebook.

Donations are still being accepted. To donate, click the link below.

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