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Reynolds grad raises funds for Hoffman's funeral expenses

Daniela Makowski calls for community and compassion following Tuesday's shooting


by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: LISA K. ANDERSON - Hoffman family spokesman Randy Olson and 2008 Reynolds High graduate Daniela Makowski stand at a makeshift memorial outside the school. Makowski didnt know the Hoffman family but was spurred to raise money for funeral expenses.

Daniela Makowski didn’t know Emilio Hoffman or his family, but the 2008 Reynolds High School valedictorian was moved to do something when she heard about Tuesday’s shooting.

“My heart started breaking for all the kids here and what they must be going through,” said Makowski, a mechanical engineer for Columbia Helicopters and George Fox University graduate. “I started to pray and felt this overwhelming thing in me to start this fund.”

As of Thursday morning, the Gofundme fund was nearing $9,000 in donations, with a goal of $12,000.

The Hoffman family’s spokesman, Randy Olson, confirmed the fund as official, saying the family was grateful for all the community support and the love that had been shown through the web page.

Makowski has felt stunned the last week. Her college roommate’s brother, Jon Meis, was the student building monitor credited with pepper-spraying and helping to tackle the shooter at Seattle Pacific University last week.

In the past week, thousands of dollars have funneled in to honor Meis’ actions — he was released from the hospital June 6 after suffering wounds to his neck and chin — and Meis has encouraged people to donate to the families affected by the shooting.

Makowski said both the Seattle Pacific and Reynolds shootings spurred her to set up something for the Hoffman family.

“I hope the community comes close — that the family finds peace knowing there are strangers who care for them, not just in Troutdale or Portland, but from all over the United States,” Makowski said.

Wednesday, June 11, Anthem Church in Portland, where Makowski’s father-in-law serves as a pastor, held a candlelight vigil for Hoffman.

Though she didn’t know Hoffman, Makowski took classes from Todd Rispler, the teacher and coach grazed by a bullet Tuesday.

“I had him for zero period weight training, right around where the shooting event took place,” Makowski said. “He was a great teacher and motivator who always cared for students. He was always there to talk with everyone. All my stretches after working out are because of him.

“My heart was relieved to hear he was OK. His actions were very heroic.”

Makowski was in the same class as shooter Jared Michael Padgett’s older brother, Lucas, a member of the Army and a Farmers Insurance agent.

She said another friend started a fundraiser for the Padgett family, and asked the public to consider both families going through a difficult time.

“Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation,” the other Gofundme site reads, quoting Henry Ward Beecher.

“In a situation like the one at Reynolds High School, there is no justice,” wrote Amy Evans, a 2009 Reynolds graduate. “There is only heartbreak. We acknowledge that huge amounts of terror, anger, and even hatred can come from a tragedy like yesterday’s. But given the choice, we would rather respond with compassion than with more hatred.”

As of Thursday morning, the site had raised just over $3,400, with a goal of $4,000.

To contribute to the sites, visit http://www.gofundme.com/Funds-for-Shot-Student or http://www.gofundme.com/a7wmns.