PARAMUS, NJ (CBSNewYork) – Support for the families impacted by the deadly Paramus school bus crash on Route 80 has grown to include local retail stores and restaurants. The businesses are pitching in with a “shop and dine for a cause” fundraiser.
“Some of these children and families may have needs for years to come,” president of the Paramus Children’s Health Foundation, Marty Diamond said.
10-year-old Miranda Vargas and teacher Jennifer Williamson were both killed when their school bus driver allegedly tried to make an illegal U-turn on May 17. Diamond’s organization quickly switched gears to focus on raising funds for the families affected by the accident.
To help their cause, the Westfield Garden State Plaza offered Diamond a free kiosk on Wednesday, so the foundation could sell t-shirts and other items to raise money for impacted families. The foundation also got more than a dozen retail stores and eateries to donate 10 percent of their sales to the fundraiser.
“It’s great to spend your money in a place that is willing to give back to the community especially after a tragic event like this,” Johnnea Rumph of Paterson said.
“This whole community, all the surrounding towns, reaching out together for a great cause,” Donna Fanetti from Hawthorne added.
Shake Shack also participated in Wednesday’s fundraiser and the general manager of their Westfield location says this tragedy hits very close to home. “Obviously no amount of money can make up for what happened but hopefully these kinds of gestures can help the community feel a little bit better,” John Garrabrant explained.
On Sunday, Westfield will be holding a food truck festival where a similar fundraising booth will be set up. Click here for more information on how to donate to this event.