COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Following the death of a girl and her father in a hunting accident on New Year’s Day, friends and community members are raising money for the family.
According to DNR officials, both 30-year-old Kim Drawdy and 9-year-old Lauren Drawdy died after a hunter with the pair mistook the Drawdys for deer in a wooded area on Barracada Road near Walterboro.
Lauren was a cheerleader with Champions in Motion cheer team. Following her death, her friends and fellow cheerleaders said they wanted to honor her life by fundraising money to help Lauren's mother, Mary Bowers.
"I was sitting in my room one night thinking about Lauren and her family and I just realized that someone needs to do something to help them," 12-year-old Chelsie Shealy said. "So, I went to my mom to try and figure out something that we could do to help."
Dozens of people stopped by the fundraiser off Cottageville highway where cheer team members and friends spent Saturday cooking food, taking donations and praying for everyone affected.
Co-organizer Elizabeth Shealy said the goal is to create a community effort in supporting the family during a time of grief.
"We want her to take this money and use it on expenses either if that's to help pay for the cost of Lauren's death, or if it's used to pay a house payment or a car payment or maybe even her lights."
Bowers responded with a statement, "I am beyond grateful for the community coming together to help not only mine but Kim's family!" Bowers said. " I am forever grateful. I will someday return the favor that I have received."
Former assistant cheer coach, Jennifer McLaughlin, said she's proud of how the team has committed to carrying on Lauren's legacy.
"Lauren would have fun," McLaughlin said. "She would be out here with them doing it for somebody else if it had been anybody else."
As of Saturday evening, organizers said they have already raised more than $1,400 dollars.
There will be another fundraiser off Cottageville Highway on Saturday, Jan. 18. It will take place in the empty lot next to the Genesis Car Dealership and the Cottageville Express gas station.
If you’d like more information or to donate email Elizabethshealy123@gmail.com,