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Community goes fishing to help grieving family

By Amanda Butterfield | Posted - Oct. 20, 2010 at 5:32 p.m.


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OREM -- Wednesday was a great day to be out fishing, and a particular group on the water at Strawberry Reservoir was doing more than just reeling in big ones, they were also helping a grieving family.

On October 7, 13-year-old Madison Mecum was hit and killed by a car driven by another 13-year-old in Orem. That 13-year-old had taken her aunt's car without permission. She hit the gas instead of the brake when making a turn, and hit and killed Madison.

That story touched many of our viewers, who wanted to help, so a fishing trip was put together, in which people could pay to fish with famous athletes and local personalities, raising money to help the family.

So when calls were made to local athletes, TV and radio personalities, and a composer, they were happy to spend the day on the lake to help.

NBA star Shawn Bradley said, "My wife and I were looking at it when it first happened, thinking, ‘What can we do?'"

Former NFL defensive lineman Hans Olsen said, "I've got three daughters, that's all I gotta say. If I lost one I don't' know what I would do."

Chad Lewis, who played tight end in the NFL, said, "I'm from Orem. When I saw Madison was hit and killed in Orem, at the bus stop, waiting to go to school…13-years-old. I have a 13-year-old daughter.

Musician Kurt Bestor said, "We've all been touched by this story. It's incredible. And if you can't stop long enough to help somebody in their situation, then you are not human."

Madison's mom and sister were there, and a picture of Madison was in every boat. During lunch, the family was presented with the check—over $11,000 was raised.

Madison's mother, Paige, and sister came to accept the money.

"We have had an outpouring of love and compassion and donations that I have never seen before, it's been amazing," Paige Mecum said.

This is the first time Madison's mother has talked on camera, wanting to thank everyone for more than just the money.

"You kinda helped us forget, and have a little bit of fun today," she said.

Everything, including the boats and the food, was donated for today's fishing trip.

The money is especially helpful to the family, and not just for Madison's funeral expenses. Five years ago Paige Mecum lost her husband and has been struggling financially ever since.

E-mail: abutterfield@ksl.com

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