SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — A group of small business owners are coming together to help the family of a young Springfield boxer who died Friday. Fourteen-year-old, Carlos Perez, succumbed to his injuries he received in a car crash last weekend.
Several vendors at the EuGenius Market in Springfield’s Gateway Mall are donating 25-percent of all proceeds this weekend to the Perez family. They say they’ve gone through hardships themselves and that alone inspired them to step up and help their fellow community members.
The news of Carlos Perez’s passing caught the attention of people he didn’t even know.
“After seeing it on the TV initially, I thought, ‘We’ve got to do something for this boy,’” said Don Hoskins, organizer of the fundraiser and owner of The Rock Licker.
“It’s such a tragedy. The whole bus thing and then the death was pretty bad,” said Theresa Wells, co-owner of the EuGenius Market.
“I really felt for the family,” said Michael Knotts, owner of Meriweather Leather.
Each of these small business owners at the EuGenius Market in Springfield are a master in different crafts, but all have the same goal this weekend.
“Helping out a family like this is really what it’s all about, just really helping somebody out,” said Knotts.
For Knotts, he drew inspiration from his own life. His granddaughter died at birth a year and a half ago.
“Even though this doesn’t fall under that category, it still touches my heart and it’s something that’s near and dear to me. So, any help I can do is just something I have to do,” said Knotts.
Don Hoskins, who organized the fundraiser, says the crash hit close to home for him too.
“We almost lost my mother and father to a car accident so, I just know how they’re feeling,” said Hoskins.
As small business owners, Hoskins says the community helped them when times were tough. Now it’s their turn to return the favor.
“This community is what made us what we are so, we felt like we have to give back. Unfortunately, it’s in such a way as this. Come help us. Come help us, help them” said Hoskins.
Not all vendors are participating in the fundraiser. There is also a Papa’s Pizza fundraiser in Springfield on February 10th for Carlos Perez, as well as an account set up at Pacific Cascade Credit Union.