TROY, Ohio (WDTN) - Countless people flocked to Buffalo Wild Wings in Troy Wednesday to "Eat for Ellen."
The fundraiser began at 11a.m. and will run until midnight.
The restaurant hopes to raise atleast $1,000 for the family of Ellen Garner, 20, who died Monday from injuries she suffered in a house fire on New Years Day.
Fire officials said a space heater sitting too close to bedding caused the house near the University of Cincinnati's campus, where Garner attended college, to catch fire. Chad Kohls, 21, of Centerville was also in the home. He died January 7.
Fundraiser organizers said Ellen worked at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Cincinnati; therefore, it only seemed fitting to hold an event in her honor at the branch in her hometown.
"We wanted to make sure we were able to support her and her family," said Brittany Wintrow, who is the restaurant's service manager.
BWW will be donating 10% of its Wednesday sales to Ellen's family. The restaurant also raffled off prizes that were donated by people throughout the community. All proceeds collected will be matched by an anonymous donor.
Ellen graduated from Tippecanoe High School. One of her Spanish teachers attended the fundraiser, and spoke highly of the young woman.
"She was a great student and just a really nice girl, a really special girl," said Barb Haven, who is now retired. "She was creative, talented, and just one of those kids who knew what she wanted."
Family members also attended the fundraiser, and released the following statement:
"The outpouring of prayers and support is truly overwhelming and we are extremely grateful. Ellen will continue to live on in our hearts and in the individuals lives she saved through her selfless act of choosing to be an organ donor."
Visitation for Ellen will be Friday from 10 a.m.. - 1:30p.m. at Ginghamsburg Church in Tipp City. A funeral service will follow, then a burial at Maple Hill Cemetery.
Donations can also be made through the Tipp United Methodist Church. Checks can be made out to: Tipp UMC, memo line, Ellen Garner.
A big thanks to all of you, the WDTN viewer, who contributed to our campaign to the help the United Rehabilitation Services.
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