When Carissa Stone, of Newfield, and Michael Mayer, of Van Etten, were swept under the water at the base of a Newfield waterfall during a family hike July 12, their five-year-old child Gunner Henley Mayer and his two cousins went running for help, but tragically the couple could not be saved.
To support their child through this difficult time, Stone’s sisters, Magen Brull and Margo Korowajczyk, have set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money for his education.
“The outpouring of love and support from our generous, amazing community backing has been beyond what we ever could have imagined as we deal with the tragedy of losing our beloved sister, Carissa,” Brull said on her Facebook page.
“As we prepare to say our final ‘see you laters’ to our sister and her boyfriend, Mike, we ask that you keep their sweet little boy Gunner in your thoughts and prayers as he is going to have a long road ahead of him with the loss of his parents,” Brull added. “We have set out to ensure he will always be taken care of no matter what, but if anyone feels like they wanted to help in anyway or do something more, please take this time to contribute to a fund we are setting up for his future education and life beyond high school when the time comes. There are no words to say to thank you all for coming together for us and we’ll never be able to forget these moments, but we know our sister sees and hears all your prayers and that gives us comfort.”
So far the fundraising effort has raised $6,078 from 76 donors, surpassing the $4,000 goal. It can be found on GoFundMe.com by searching for the Gunner Henley Mayer Education Fund.
“We have promised his mother Carissa, our sister, and his father, Mike, that we will continue to look after their son no matter what,” states the Go Fund Me page, where Korowajczyk is listed as the organizer. “As this is a big promise to make, but one we will ensure happens, we are asking for the help of our friends and family in setting up a trust fund for Gunner’s future education. If you are able to donate, we know Gunner will have a good foundation to start his life beyond high school, and we will be able to fulfill our promise. All donations will go directly to funding Gunner’s education.”