by Andrew Magnotta
Hundreds have donated to help with funeral costs for two victims of the Aug. 6 drunk driving wreck in Maplewood, reported representatives from local charity HK Project.
The program guarantees 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the families of Tamir Harry, 16, and Kervin Noel, 20, who died when a drunk driver allegedly plowed into their car at “excessive speed.”
“A lot of the community asked us to do something,” said HK Project Executive Director Amy Jo Curran, “so we opened the campaign and started raising money.”
Anyone wishing to donate may go to www.hkproject.org/donate. Donations will be split between both families unless noted otherwise.
“Once again, HK Project thanks the community for their generosity in helping their neighbors,” said HK Project President and Co-founder Tom Kerns.
The goal of the project is to raise “as much as possible,” he said. And although HK Project would not say how much has been raised so far out of respect for the families, Kerns did say that “several hundred” have already donated.
The fund for the funerals of Harry and Noel began on Aug. 8 and will continue until their respective memorials. A representative for the Harry family told Patch that they hope to wait until Tamir’s brother Tahsir Harry, 20, who was in the back seat of the car during the crash, is out of the hospital. The funeral plans for Tamir Harry will be made public.
The HK Project was established in 2009 after Kerns’ wife, HK Project Vice President and Co-Founder Jeanmarie Hargrave, recovered from a benign spinal tumor that Kerns said “was crushing her spine.”
“The community rallied around us and helped us out with car rides for my kids and meals and baby sitting,” Kerns said. “Basically anybody in the community who knew stepped up to help us. When we got through that crisis and my wife was healing, we decided that we wanted to give back to the town in some way. We started the HK Community Fund to focus on community.”
“We try to get the members of our community to engage with each other,” he said, “whether it’s through a crisis situation, which is what we’re talking about today, or other things such as performing arts… We’ve focused on the youth of the community by provided community service opportunities, and many other ways in which we try to get the community to become engaged.”
Anyone who wants to get involved with HK Project may contact them through their website,www.hkproject.org, or call them at 973 762 4062.