By Ryan Richardson
Globe Staff Writer
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Family and friends of the Washburn family continue to find ways to raise money for support following a devastating car accident.
The family from Asbury was involved in a Jan. 12 accident on Interstate 44 that left John Washburn, 58, dead.
He and his wife, Deborah, and their three daughters, Abby, 19; Samantha, 13; and Karli, 12, were in an SUV taking their oldest daughter back to college.
The driver of the other vehicle, Bonnie Weaver, 75, of Tulsa, Okla., who was driving west in the eastbound lane on the Interstate, also died in the crash.
Deborah Washburn and the three girls sustained serious injuries.
All three daughters were either attending or had attended Carl Junction schools.
Terra Gleeson, who graduated with Deborah from Carl Junction High School in 1981, decided to help organize former classmates and others to support the Washburn family.
The result is a chili and spaghetti dinner and silent auction that will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at Mount Hope Church of Christ in Webb City.
“We’re helping out a classmate with a long road ahead of them,” Gleeson said. “This is really just starting to get rolling. ... I want this to be big, but we are still needing help.”
Gleeson said that she had already had area residents and businesses step up with donations.
“We’ve had people buying meat for the chili and inquiring where to send items for the silent auction,” Gleeson said. “Right now, we are trying to figure out how many people we are going to have show up. We want people to know that this family is in our prayers and hearts and we’re going to see what we can do with this event.”
Gleeson is soliciting donations for the event at 417-483-3382.
“We’ve still got about eight weeks to go before the event, so we are trying to still get the word out to as many people as we can,” Gleeson said.
Carl Junction schools will also hold the Jazz and Java festival for the family on Feb. 22 at the high school.
Arvest Bank is taking donations for a trust fund for the Washburn family. Those interested in making a donation can mail a check with the words “Arvest Cares Washburn” on the memo line to Arvest Bank, P.O. Box 460, Joplin, MO 64801.