SOUTH MIDDLETON TWP. — A website created to raise money to assist the family of a severely-injured Boiling Springs man raised more than $13,000 in one day.
The fundraising website page was started Wednesday by Dan Elias, who graduated from Boiling Springs High School with Jackie Lithgow last year and played golf at Boiling Springs High School under coach Jim Lithgow, Jackie’s father.
Jackie Lithgow, 19, sustained a head injury early Sunday morning when a fight broke out at an off-campus apartment at Bloomsburg University. According to WNEP, a TV station out of the Scranton area, the party was an invitation-only event for the Zeta Psi fraternity.
Elias, a freshman at St. Joseph’s University, said he didn’t know what to expect when he started the site at www.gofundme.com/75frh0. The site has been dubbed “Join Jackie’s Marathon” in reference to a post on the Lithgow family blog that describes Jackie’s recovery as a marathon, not a sprint.
Donations will be used to help defray costs associated with Jackie Lithgow’s hospitalization at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, including gas, food and hotel stays for the family.
“They’re going to be gathering a lot of bills,” Elias said. “Traveling from Boiling Springs to Bloomsburg isn’t cheap.”
Elias said he thought the site might bring in about $2,500, but he has been adjusting the goal upward almost from the start to serve as an incentive to those who stumble upon the site for the first time. By Thursday evening Elias had set the goal up to $20,000 and donations totaled almost $18,000. Donations through the site have ranged from $5 to $5,000, reflecting the way the community has come together in support of the Lithgow family.
“When I think about it, it doesn’t surprise me,” Elias said.
Elias said students at Bloomsburg University, where Jackie is a freshman, also started a fundraising page on the same site. That page has raised more than $2,000.
Both web pages are in addition to donations being collected at Boiling Springs High School.
The blog, prayforjackie.com, that was set up by the family to keep the community informed about Jackie’s progress included a post Wednesday morning that said he “has been staying strong for 96+ hours.” It also said a CAT scan was scheduled for Thursday morning, and that there have seen encouraging signs, including a simple cough.
An update to Jackie’s condition had not been posted to the blog by the time The Sentinel went to press.
“We are so blessed to have all of your prayers, support and generosity — it is endless and we appreciate it more than you will ever know,” the family wrote late Wednesday night.
Several suspects have been identified and the investigation into the incident is ongoing. Bloomsburg police said charges will likely be filed before the end of the week, according to WNEP.
Donald Hoover, 19, of Birdsboro, was also injured and transported to the hospital.
Email Tammie Gitt at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @SentinelGitt