Mishawaka is '#JacobStrong' as it supports Former South Bend Firefighter Jeremy Bush
Volunteers sold t-shirts and bracelets that read "#JacobStrong" on them, auctioned off merchandise donated by nearby businesses and charged a cover fee upon entry all to raise money to support the Bush family. Success of the event was not tied to how much money was raised.
"Just people being able to express their love and concern for the Bush family is really success," said Patrick Bottkamp, who is a firefighter who worked with Jeremy Bush.
In addition to hosting, Smith's Downtown is donating 30% of all of Sunday's sales, including takeout and delivery, to the Bush family. One volunteer who helped coordinate Smith's effort in the fundraiser did not want to use her last name for privacy reasons. She said what the Bush family is going through hit her close to home.
"I, myself, had a brain injury," said Jill, the volunteer. "I had a rare postpartum stroke. I just know what Jenn's in for with the rehab that she's going to have to do with Jacob. It just touched my heart, and I just wanted to do what I can."
Other volunteers who knew Jeremy more personally said the motivation behind doing this for his family came from Jeremy, himself.
"The people putting this on want to stay anonymous. They're doing this out of the generosity of their heart," said Chris Bennion, another firefighter who worked with Bush. "They get no financial benefit out of this. None of us do. The only benefit we get is helping the Bush family. Jeremy would have done it for any one of us and would expect nothing less than what we are doing now. So, we're just trying to live up to what he would have done for our family if this were to have happened to us."
Jenn Bush, Jeremy's wife, was not at the event on Sunday. She was quarantining at home to make sure the environment is safe for when her son Jacob comes home from the hospital, which is expected to happen on Thursday.