PERRY — For the families of the five boys who were burned in a gas explosion, their small town is getting together to raise funds for stacking medical expenses.
On Nov. 15 five boys, between the ages of 7 and 10, were walking home from school when they came across cans of gasoline. They began experimenting with the gas just before the cans exploded. All were treated at Utah hospitals, before they were released. But they all have healing left to do.
Friday, The Peak Gymnastic Center took its focus off of the sport and turned to fundraising for the families of the boys.
Tayton Winward, 7, received the worst injuries. Now the medical bills are stacking up.
"They do have some insurance, but they will be paying the maximum out of pocket," said the boy's grandfather, Blake Grover.
So the community is rallying together by donating baked goods and holding a silent auction. Even Ol' St. Nick made a special trip for the event. All the money raised will go straight to the boys. More than 1,000 people showed up, surpassing their attendance goal.
It's almost been overwhelming. So many good people have offered so much. They're showing up here tonight," Grover said. "It gives you faith in people."
Though the scars may still be visible on Tyler Bergman's face, so is his smile. And with his burned hands, he hands out candy canes to those helping him and his classmates.
The event served not just as a fundraiser, but as a safety reminder, too. Fire safety training was part of the program.
"It's going to take a long time to heal, but it will be good when we can get all 5 boys together and get a picture," said Tayton's grandmother, Teresa Grover.