Hundreds attend fundraiser for Stoneton family

Benefit for Stoneton Family


AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Red Barn in Augusta was so busy Thursday night, the restaurant had to set up overflow parking and arrange for a shuttle service to accommodate the crowd.

Hundreds of people turned out for a fundraiser for the Stoneton family, after the sudden loss of 17-year-old Kelsey Stoneton last week.

RELATED: Community rallies for Stoneton family

She died of a pulmonary embolism, which is a blockage of arteries in the lungs.

"I'm just very blessed to have had the 17 years I did with her, and i'm just so happy to see this for her too," said father Joel Stoneton at the Red Barn fundraiser. "She would have loved this."

The Red Barn donated half of all proceeds to the Stoneton family.

Kelsey's father said the family is trying to stay positive through the pain.

"She's the person that would be organizing this," he said. "She's the person that would be hugging people and making them feel better. That was her, and she would want you to feel that way."

Friends have started to use the hashtag #JustSmile on social media to remember Kelsey.

"A lot of people have been turning this situation, such a tragedy, into a positive experience, with the hashtag just smile," said friend Tyler Arsenault.

A Go Fund Me page has been set up for the Stoneton family, which has brought in more than $17,000.

There are other fundraisers planned for the family this week. On Friday night, there will be an event at Fast Eddies in Winthrop, and on Saturday night, there will be a fundraiser at the Winthrop House of Pizza.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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