Fundraiser held for accidental shooting victim in Merrill - WNEM TV 5

Fundraiser held for accidental shooting victim in Merrill

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MERRILL, MI (WNEM) -

A community comes together to help out a family plunged into tragedy.

An accident in Merrill late last month led to the death of Richard Cody Skillman.

Now, a fundraiser and benefit dinner was held to cover his funeral expenses.

“He used to do my computer stuff for me because I’m not very good at it,” said Wanda Skillman, who is Cody’s mother. “So not being able to call him when I need him for something simple like that, that’s the hard stuff.”

On Jan. 18, Wanda Skillman’s life changes in an instant.

Her son Richard Cody Skillman, often called Cody, died in Merrill from an accidental shooting at just 21-years-old.

Their family is left with not only broken hearts but a long list of bills.

“There’s no way I could do it on what I make so this has been great that the community is helping with this,” Wanda said.

Wanda has worked for Holy Cross Services for more than 15 years.

When her co-workers heard of her tragic loss, they immediately jumped into action.

“God bless her heart,” said Schanda Tarkowski, who works at Holy Cross Services. “She has a big heart so we’re helping her get through this in hopes that she can move forward as well.”

They joined hands with EJ’s Bar and Grill to throw a benefit in Cody’s honor.

Selling raffle tickets and a hot meal, anything to help.

And of course a chance to get together.

Weeks after the accident that shook the small town of Merrill, they’re now remembering Cody for his great personality.

Cody is remembered as number 74 on the football field, great with kids, and always having fun with his friends.

“He was quiet but he was fun and I think that he would enjoy the fact that this is going on here in honor of him,” Wanda said.

While the support has been overwhelming, Wanda still wishes things could be different she hopes her loss helps someone make better choices in the future.

“There is a time and a place for the guns and there is a time and a place for the alcohol and it’s definitely not together ever,” Wanda said.

So far the family has raised over $2,300

If you would like to help out, head to the Holy Cross Services Facebook page.

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