CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A reward to help find the person responsible for hitting and killing an 8-year-old boy has reach nearly $60,000 — and continues to grow.
“It’s tugging on everybody’s heart strings,” said Matthew Cilento of Hickory Towing, where a memorial for Hooper has created.
Hickory Towing initially offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest for the driver responsible for killing Hooper. Then, donations from neighbors and other area businesses started coming in.
“I think it’s great in this day and age, seeing the community come together and help somebody out,” Cilento said.
Chubby’s Pumpkin Patch is offering their location to host fundraisers. They’re also accepting donations at their location to help support Forrest’s family as they try to heal.
“I can’t imagine what this family is feeling,” Chad Mapes, the owner of Chubby’s Pumpkin Patch, said. “It’s unbelievable. It’s hard not to get emotional about it.”
Neighboring business Three Gee Towing & Storage is also contributing to the reward.
A weekend event honoring Forrest is in the works.
“We’re going to put on a little cookout, if people want to come say their goodbyes,” Cilento said.
Forrest was a third grader at Southeastern Elementary. The school announced on Wednesday that they are bringing in grief counselors for Forrest’s classmates.
“It is our hope that our counselors can help our school community deal with this tragic loss,” the school said in a statement. “Please remember that your Southeastern Elementary Family is here for you, to support you however we can.”
If you’re interested in donating to the reward effort, click here.