As a mother of three young children, Kate Seidel is used to giving. So it was a change for her Sunday to be on the other side, as hundreds of people came out to help her and her family.
“I’m not used to being on this side of it,” Seidel said. “It is weird for me, but it just shows how much people loved Kyle.”
In December, 34-year-old Kyle Seidel was murdered in Waterford, leaving his three children without a father and his wife, Kate, without a husband. On Sunday night, hundreds of people came to the Waterford Community Center for a spaghetti dinner and basket raffle fundraiser for the Seidel family and more than $7,000 was raised for the family.
“It just shows how much people care,” Kate Seidel said.
The event was organized by eight women who just wanted to “do something,” according to one of the event coordinators, Theresa Carter. All the food was donated, along with 134 baskets, which ranged from $50 gift cards to New York Yankee tickets, according to Carter.
“We are just so blessed to be part of this community,” Kate Seidel’s sister, Kristy Donahue, said at the event. “The past couple of months have been just horrible, as you can imagine. And with the help of all of you, (Kate) will get through this, she will be fine.”
For more than a month, the eight women have been meeting once-a-week at Filomena’s to organize the fundraiser, Carter said. One thing the group quickly found was how easy it was going to be to get donations, she said.
“It was so easy (to get people to donate),” Carter said. “There are just so many wonderful businesses in this community.”
All the drinks for the event were donated from Coca-Cola, along with the door prizes, Carter said. Most of the food was donated from Target, with the salad donated from local pizza places, she said.
The baskets, which were raffled off, were donated by a variety of businesses, and the town’s elementary schools contributed as well, Carter said. Overall, there were 134 baskets to raffle off, with the baskets holding everything from three $200 gift certificates to New London Ink to a pair of UGG boots, she said.
“We really just went out and hit the pavement, asking people to donate,” Carter said. “It was that easy. We have such an incredible community.”
Hundreds of people showed up to the event, with adults paying $10 to eat and children costing $4. People also bought tickets at $1-a-piece to enter into the basket raffle, with all the proceeds going to the Seidel family, Carter said.
Carter was not immediately sure how much money was raised, but said it was more than $7,000. For Seidel, who has took time off of work to spend time with her three children, it means a lot.
“It has been amazing,” she said. “This is going to get me through this.”
Along with Carter, seven other women helped organize the event. They are Emily Lincoln, Donahue, Veronica Mobley, Amanda Kane, Becky Fraser, Monica Seidel and Nikki Cioci.