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Community fundraising for crash victim’s son

Friends and family members are leading fundraising efforts after to raise money for the family of a young mother who was killed in a car accident on the Mountain Parkway June 4.

Thursday, the Dairy Queen on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive donated 10 percent of the money it took in to the family of 20-year-old Rayna Cross.

The benefit was organized by Katlan Hatton, a friend of Cross’s since high school.

Hatton said the goal of the fundraising is to help Cross’ fiance’, Austin Caudill, and their 5-month-old son, Aydrik, to pay their bills and create a trust fund for Aydrik.

“College is expensive now, it could be even more expensive when he’s old enough to to go,” Hatton said.

Former classmates and friends put together a memory book, which they plan to give to Aydrik, where memories of his mother were shared.

Hatton said $651 was raised during the four-hour benefits.

Family members are also offering several other ways for the community to support the young family. April Caudill, Austin Caudill’s aunt, said donations can be given through a number of avenues.

Caudill said a gofundme page was set up to cover Rayna’s funeral expenses, and the goal was reached within 12 hours.

She also said several businesses, including Dairy Queen and Sonic, have donation jars out that people can leave money in.

“All proceeds from those go to helping Austin and Aydrik pay for bills,” Caudill said.

Donated items, such as diapers for Aydrik, can be left at New Beginnings pregnancy center. The center will alert Caudill when donations have been made.

The center announced in a Facebook post that Gerber Goodstart Gentle formula and size 3 or 4 diapers have been requested.

Caudill and Hatton are looking for other ways to raise money as well.

“We’re very thankful for anything we can get,” she said.

Anyone wanting to make a donation can contact April Caudill at 771-6665.