WATERLOO, Ill. — What started as a humble fundraiser for the family of a fallen Illinois State Police Trooper ended with the entire community rallying together to raise $100,000.
Trooper Nicholas Hopkins was shot and killed in the line of duty on Aug. 23. After hearing about Trooper Hopkins' death, two high school friends, Ashley Hewitt and Colin Caywood, teamed up to help his wife and three children.
"I started designing a shirt as this 'little' fundraiser to be able to donate a couple thousand dollars...." said Ashley Hewitt in a Facebook post on Saturday.
Hewitt said the initial goal was to just sell 400 shirts, but the fundraiser was so successful that she had to keep raising her personal goal.
She added blue lights to her fundraiser, and sales got so popular that she had to add two more rounds of shirt orders.
In all, she ended up selling more than 4,000 shirts and 5,000 light bulbs. Hewitt said people as far away as California and Florida supported the cause.
On Saturday, Hewitt presented Whitney Hopkins and her three children with a check for $100,000.
Hewitt said a last-minute generous donation helped her meet the goal.
"Thank you to all my friends and family that volunteered, businesses that donated, and everyone that purchased shirts, blue bulbs, or made a donation!" Hewitt said in her Facebook post.
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