Community support provides beginning for 'Kyle's Klass Fund'
BOURBON — It's been four months since a tragic go-kart accident took the life of 6-year-old Kyle Pugh. Recently, community members showed their support for Pugh's family during a unique turn of events—a fundraiser initially intended to raise just a few hundred dollars instead brought in more than $1,000.
"Kyle was an awesome guy," said Triton Elementary School principal Jeremy Riffle. "It's a small town and everybody comes together. Friends of the family knew it was for a good cause."
Larry and Dena Wattenbarger, Kyle's grandparents, decided after Kyle passed away that they would not attend this year's Brickyard 400 Nascar race, as was their tradition. Instead, Larry gave the couple's tickets to Mike Kentz, owner of Journey's End, so they could be auctioned off and the money used for needy families in the area. The value of the four tickets was about $250.
The tickets were successfully sold, not once, but a total of seven times as each buyer donated them back to be sold again. In the end, $1,200 was raised.
This money was presented Wednesday to Triton Elementary School principal Jeremy Riffle. It will be used to start "Kyle's Klass Fund"—an ongoing foundation to provide for the needs of Kyle's class, now in second grade. Throughout the years, money from this foundation will go toward assisting students that might not otherwise be able to participate in class trips or other activities because of financial concerns.
This Christmas, some of the money will be used to help two families in the Triton School system. The school is partnering with the Bourbon Fire Department for the project. The school will provide the names of families while the fire department will undertake the task of actually purchasing the items. Possible purchases include winter outerwear and toys.
Riffle accepted a check on behalf of the school Wednesday evening at Journey's End.
"We're going to try to keep this going every year if we can," said Riffle in a speech to the patrons gathered.
Purchasers of the tickets included Pat and Lisa Reiwoldt, Bill Morris, Greg McMannis, Dave Petties, Roger Gottschalk and Deb Voyrovich, Ellis Inhen, and Susie Heminger.