#GilroyStrong: Donations to Garlic Festival Shooting Victims Eclipse $1 Million

The biggest donation, $250,000, was anonymous

It's been two and a half weeks since the Gilroy Garlic Festival mass shooting that left three people dead and 13 injured, and the healing hit somewhat of a milestone Wednesday.

The community continues to rally around the victims and each other, and monetary donations have now passed the $1 million mark.

"That's all receipts of donations," said Donna Pray, executive director of the Gilroy Foundation. "Whenever there's a donation on PayPal, whether it's $10 or $10,000, I get an email, and one morning I had 366 emails."

The biggest donation, Pray said, was $250,000, and it was anonymous.

Some of the donations have come from dozens of simple lemonade stands. One at the Sunrise Fire Station raised $3,000 in two hours.

And local businesses are pitching in with fundraising events. Straw Hat Pizza raised $10,000 last Wednesday.

"We're a small town. A tragedy like that brings everybody together," said Raj Nayyar of Straw Hat. "From the first day, two Sundays ago, we've been making pizza and donating a lot of pizza."

The Gilroy Foundation is distributing the funds and hoping for a turnaround of less than 10 days. This week, victims can fill out applications for medical bills and other needs.

Every penny of that $1 million-plus is going to the victims.

"They're happy because they're doing something positive and doing something good for their community," Pray said of the donors.

Indeed, Gilroy is a close-knit community where people don't just put up a sign and wear a T-shirt. They show up and help each other. And they're not done yet.

"It's just incredible," resident Eric Troesch said. "It's really been great to see the whole community come together to combat this tragedy."

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