When a 41-year-old Blackwater father tragically died while mowing his lawn July 21, the communities of Boonville and Blackwater came together to care for his two daughters and wife.

Chad R. Wolfe died after being hit by a northbound pickup truck near the intersection of Highway 41 and Imhoff Drive in Blackwater. After the impact, he came to rest in the ditch alongside Highway 41.

His two daughters, Abby, 14, and Molly Wolfe, 10, were surprised at the outpouring support of area residents who wanted to help them.

Among these support efforts, a benefit dinner has been scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Sept. 15 at the Blackwater School. An auction will begin at 7 p.m. Grant Wilson, a friend of the Wolfe family, donated a picnic table for a raffle with tickets costing $1 each or six for $5.

After losing their father just one week prior to the Cooper County Youth Fair, the Wolfes had numerous businesses, families and others donate more than $15,000 to the Abby and Molly Wolfe Bright Future Trust Fund during the July 26 Livestock and Ham sale.

Abby said she was overwhelmed with how much was raised for all five of their ham entries.

Stephanie Schuster, the Wolfes’ aunt, said everyone knew and liked their father, and this was a way for the community to show its appreciation. “The county came together for the girls,” Schuster said.

Abby’s Cooper County Cyclones fall softball teammates worked for tips Aug. 10 at Kimberly’s Restaurant in Blackwater and raised $1,851 for the Wolfe family. The Blackwater Fire Department collected $377 in donations at their Aug. 4 annual Hog Roast. Amanda Blank and Becky Jahns also helped by raffling off a pair of Hank Williams Jr. concert tickets.

Abby said she never expected just how much the community has rallied around the family.

“It means a lot of people are here for my family,” she said. “It shows what my Dad meant to people and how much my family means to them. I am so blessed people stepped up to do things for my family.”

Schusters said it’s nice for the community to have the family’s back as they try to remain strong. “It’s been very heartwarming to see that outpouring support for my sister and her family,” she said.

Handling grief

Following the death of the Wolfe’s father, in which people waited at his visitation for seven hours to say their goodbyes, Abby thanked the community for being there.

“We are doing pretty well,” she said. “We are taking small baby steps. We will get through it, because we know so many people are here for us.”

Abby said her sister, Molly, who chose not to be interviewed, is coping with the death of their father in a different way.

‘I cried more than she does,” Abby said. “She is just very quiet and keeps to herself.”

Schuster agreed, saying Abby is outgoing like her father, and Molly is very reserved.

Abby said some days are more difficult than others. “We have had bad days, but it will get better,” she said. “My mom has told me to keep your head high and keep going.”

For anyone who would like more information on the benefit dinner or donating to the auction, contact either Angela Harvey at (660) 287-4947 or Tracie Dillie at (660) 537-0770.