Fundraiser raises thousands for GHS family after student death
As students at Glencoe High School cope with a student's recent suicide, an online fundraiser has collected more than $10,000 for the family, to help pay for funeral expenses.
Riley Heider, 17, died Tuesday, Jan. 2, in an apparent suicide, according to Hillsboro School District officials.
Students were informed of the student's death on Wednesday morning by staff, who read a letter prepared by counselors from the district's Flight Team, a group of school district employees trained in grief counseling, according to Beth Graser, a spokeswoman with the Hillsboro School District. Parents were called Wednesday as well, Graser said.
Extra counseling services are being made available to students and staff at the Hillsboro school this week. The school has set up a support room in the school's library for students to access throughout the day, and students have been encouraged to speak with counselors.
An online fundraiser has been set up to help raise money for funeral expenses was posted to the campaign website GoFundMe.com on Wednesday. The account raised more than $10,000 in less than one day.
"He had a big heart and a smile that was infectious," fundraiser Mare Stott wrote on the fundraising website. "He enjoyed time with his close friends, had a love of video games and was a member of Glencoe's color guard team. He was also just getting started with early college at PCC."
Glencoe High School Principal Claudia Ruf said in a letter to parents the school's primary concern during this difficult time is the health and safety of its students.
"If you feel your student is particularly struggling with this situation or with something that's going on in their life, please feel free to contact us so we can help connect them with the appropriate supports," Ruf said.