Fundraisers held for Martinez boy hurt in Boston bombings

April 17, 2013 6:45:22 PM PDT
An 11-year-old boy from Martinez is one of two victims listed in critical condition after the bombings at Boston Children's Hospital.

Aaron Hern underwent a second round of surgery Wednesday. His mother reports that doctors were successful in closing his wounds without having to use skin grafts. Though healing will take some time, his family says they appreciate all the love and support.

By phone, family friend Sandra Hall said the 11-year-old is making a good recovery after a traumatic 24 hours.

"They're keeping him heavily sedated," Hall said. "But when he awakes he wants to know, first and foremost, how his family is."

Aaron was with his dad Alan and little sister Abby waiting for mom Katherine to cross the finish line when shrapnel from the first bomb blast tore into his thigh.

While the 11-year-old's family remains by his side as he recovers, back at home there's been an outpouring of support from family, friends, and complete strangers.

Several fundraisers are in full-swing to help Aaron and his family with the expenses they'll incur while staying in Boston and for his medical care and recovery he returns home.

Roxanne Cole, the owner of restaurant and wine bar Roxx on Main, welcomed diners to the business for a fundraiser for the family during the lunch and dinner hours on Tuesday.

Employees at the restaurant, located at 627 Main St., worked for free on Tuesday, and other local businesses, including Chairs for Affairs, donated supplies, Cole said.

"If you know anything about Martinez, we're a very tight-knit community, and I wanted to do something to help," she said.

She said the event netted $4,500, with all proceeds going to help cover the family's transportation and housing expenses.

Cole said she would continue to hold the same fundraiser each Tuesday until the Hern family returns home, adding that community members may also drop off donations at the restaurant until a donation fund is established.

Starting this weekend, April 21 through April 24, all seven Kinder's Meats and BBQ restaurants in Contra Costa County will donate 15 percent of proceeds to help the Hern family with transportation and housing expenses.

The chain's owner, Justin Kinder, played football at Alhambra High School, where Aaron's dad is a coach. He owns a chain of BBQ restaurants, and starting this weekend he'll donate 15percent of proceeds to the family.

"Coach Hern is the Alhambra varsity football coach," Kinder said. "Which I played football at Alhambra, and his predecessor was very influential on my life. And I think it really hit close to home when I heard, you know, who it was."

Compass Star Restaurant at 915 Main Street in Martinez is also holding a fundraiser. Starting Wednesday and continuing the rest of the week, proceeds from evening wine bar sales will be donated to the Hern Family.

"I just think in times like this we sometimes powerless to effect positive change, but to actually help a child who has been harmed by these events is one way we can feel empowered to make a difference in a terrible awful situation," said Compass Chef Rachael Zavala.

Sweetness & Light Photography is planning on holding a Mini-Portrait Session Fundraiser this Saturday for the Hern family. Those interested should contact Nicole diGiorgio at (925) 207-6347. Or visit www.sweetnessandlightphoto.com for more information.

And Mountain Mike's Pizza on Arnold Drive in Martinez will be donating 15 percent of its sales from Wednesday through Sunday to help the family.

(Bay City News contributed to this report)


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