Community Raises $260K for Road Rage Shooting Victims
About 500 people ran through the rain Sunday morning to raise money for a family who lost their 13-year-old son in an alleged road rage shooting that injured his mother, brother and a bystander.
The Bigelow family’s life changed forever on June 14 when Meghan Bigelow, 41, Vaughn Bigelow Jr., 13, and Asa Bigelow, 8, were shot outside a dentist office in Westminster. Vaughn Bigelow Jr. died from his injuries. His mother and brother still are hospitalized, according to a Caring Bridge account set up by a family friend.
Jeremy Webster, 23, is facing 11 charges that include one count of first-degree murder, five counts of attempted murder, four counts of assault and one count of attempted assault.
“It was such a tragedy. You don’t know how to fix it, and really nothing can fix it,” said Cheri Miller, a member of LifeTime Tri, Vaughn Bigelow Sr.’s triathlon team. “Events like this are a nice way to come together and do something; something that’s good.”
Triathlon team members helped organize Sunday’s 5K with the Bigelows’ local gym, LifeTime Fitness in Westminster. Organizers wanted the race to feel like an event the active family of five would have enjoyed. That’s why fitness instructors led runners in a dance-themed warmup, LifeTime Tri coach Ashley Wilkinson said. Meghan Bigelow loves fitness classes that incorporate dancing.
“Someone ‘FaceTimed’ her in, so she got to see it,” Wilkinson said.
Meghan and Asa Bigelow are still recovering from multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Caring Bridge website. The family friend who writes the blog reports that the two are getting better every day, and Meghan Bigelow’s doctors have started to “throw around” the idea that she could soon go home.
“You don’t know what the family is going to need” as they settle into a new routine and try to find a new normal, Wilkinson said. She added that there’s so much the family has to figure out, and how to pay their bills shouldn’t be one of those things.
Between the auction and the 5K race, the Bigelow Strong event raised nearly $260,000 from 750 people who raced in Denver, Iowa and Idaho.
Chris Cramer, who’s son participated in skiing, swim team and water polo with the Bigelow family, congratulates runners at the finish line of the Bigelow Strong 5k Fundraiser on Aug. 5, 2018 at Lifetime Fitness. (Daniel Brenner, Special to the Denver Post)Chris Cramer, who’s son participated in skiing, swim team and water polo with the Bigelow family, congratulates runners at the finish line of the Bigelow Strong 5k Fundraiser on Aug. 5, 2018 at Lifetime Fitness. (Daniel Brenner, Special to the Denver Post)
“It’s been really tough,” Chris Cramer said as he waited for his kids at the finish line. “There’s no handbook for what you tell your child when their best friend is murdered.”
He and his wife came dressed in blue water polo jerseys that read “For Vaughn” in big, yellow letters. It’s one way the couple shows support for the family they’ve called friends for years. Cramer was Vaughn Bigelow Jr.’s math teacher, and his sons play sports with the Bigelow boys.
He and the other parents on Vaughn Bigelow Jr.’s water polo team have been working to keep the boys occupied this summer and to keep a dialogue going about how they’re feeling. Cramer’s a little worried that starting school without their friend and teammate is going to be a tough transition.
The memorial service for Vaughn Bigelow Jr. is also on the horizon. The family scheduled it for Sept. 15 at LifeBridge Church in Longmont.
Cramer can’t imagine what that will be like for the Bigelows. No one The Denver Post spoke to could imagine the loss they’ve experienced, but everyone wanted the family to feel supported by their community.
“We want to give them all the love we can,” Cramer said. “We want them to see all the good in life.”