Benefit event, foundation helping local children reunite
As if losing their parents wasn’t enough to get through, four Limestone County children have continued to endure hardships over the last year.
Daryl and Johanna Ferguson died Jan. 19, 2019, in a single-vehicle rollover wreck, leaving behind their four children.
The Ferguson children’s grandmother stepped in to care for them; however, they eventually were forced to move from the home they knew and were split up.
The Limestone County community has come together to raise funds to help bring the children back together.
A ftuidraising event held at the Limestone County Fairgrounds highlighted efforts to benefit the children and reunite them. Local businesses and organizations that contributed to the local fundraiser included Lorraine Smith at Diamonds and Dust, Bush’s Chicken, Jennifer Gibbs Oliver, Kamden’s Cafe and the Classes of 2024, 2025 and 2026. Those included in an online thank-you from organizer Lauren Holmes, Brandi Getz and others with the Ferguson4Benefit group were Brinda Brown, Denise McLean, Dale and Lynn Zeman with Z-Man’s BBQ, Lisa Lane, Tobie Walker, Sindra Mclean, Holly Black, Rachel Bradley, Hadyn Getz, Lisa Stewart, Amanda Walker and Lucy Saldivar for serving food and drinks to all. Lanky Moore and Skylar Bosley were thanked as well, Jonathan Boggs hyped the crowd and Shane McLean called from the back. Chad Walker ran prices up in support of the kids, “calling out people right and left,” according to Getz. Getz thanked everyone involved for their contribution in the family’s time of need.
A non-profit organization, Kailee Mills Foundation, is also building on that effort.
The Groesbeck benefit is estimated to have raised more than $40,000, and those funds have been pooled into a GoFundMe fundraiser organized by the Kailee Mills Foundation. The fund is up to $67,000.
“Our organization helps families that have lost family members in a car crash,” Mills said, noting that another focus is driving safety and seatbelt awareness.
He said the goals are to get the children into a home together that each is comfortable with each other in.
He first heard of the situation when his sister showed him a video when the children’s College Station aunt went to local news media seeking help after the children were evicted.
“I lost my daughter, Kailee, in a car crash, which inspired us to start the Kailee Mills Foundation,” Mills said, speaking of her involvement with the National Charity League and Legacy Leading. “She inspired us to do something positive with her legacy.”
“Any home-related expenses” will be covered, Mills said. “Things they’re going to need when they move into the home.”
The goal of $200,000 was set to buy a house in the area or a piece of property on which to place a mobile home.
In addition, some of the funds will be used to purchase a headstone for Daryle and Johanna, and the children will receive family counseling.
Mills said he sees that happening before the end of the year. The Mills Foundation has contributed an additional $10,000, with Chip and Joanna Gaines providing another $5,000.
“A future benefit is also being planned, with more coming forward with auction items and contributions. The people in Groesbeck have been incredible to work with,” Mills said, highlighting the children’s caretakers and organizers of the Groesbeck benefit.
“I want (the Ferguson children) to know that there are a lot of people pulling for and wanting to see them back in a home together,” Mills said.
The oldest, Bryston, will likely receive a $20,000 college scholarship from the Kailee Mills Foundation. The family’s reaction to all the support is astounded. “We’re so amazed at how many people from all over have invested their time and money into making our lives a little bit easier,” Bryston said, when asked about the reaction to the outpour of support. “Knowing that people are willing to put in so much effort and dedicate so much time to help us start our new lives is a feeling we will never forget.”
He is set to graduate this year. Camdon and Kovan live together in Groesbeck. The youngest lives with her aunt in College Station.
To contribute to the fund, visit www.gofundme.com/f/ reunite-the-ferguson-children. An Amazon wish list is also available with items needed by the family at http://a. co/8z4luMx.