‘It’s just been unbelievable’: Escanaba school staff thank community for continued support

Escanaba and beyond stepped in to help the Weavers after Tara and Jerry Weaver died in a car crash.
Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 6:24 PM EST
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ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - Two weeks ago, Tara and Jerry Weaver were driving to their son’s basketball game in the Soo. A semi-truck crossed the center line on US-2 and killed Tara and Jerry.

“The love and the generosity and just the thankfulness. I can’t thank everybody enough,” said Dave Wilson, the athletic director at Escanaba Junior and Senior High Schools.

After Tara and Jerry Weaver died in a car crash, the Escanaba community came in droves to support.

“The people here rallied around the family, and they rallied around each other. You don’t get through these things on an individual basis. It’s very difficult individually,” said Coby Fletcher, the superintendent of Escanaba Area Public Schools. “That support extended beyond Delta County’s borders.”

Linda Beauchamp, president of the Escanaba Eskymo Fan Club, explained that it was not just the Escanaba community that came to support the Weaver family.

“I’ve gotten calls from as far away as California, Arizona, North Carolina. People reaching out from everywhere. ‘What can we do?’ ‘How can we help?’ ‘This is what we’re going to do.’ ‘This is what we’ve raised.’ It’s just been unbelievable,” said Beauchamp.

Counselors and support staff came multiple times to talk, or even just sit, with students.

“From the local ISD, from school districts across the U.P. to send counselors for help, to have three therapy dogs on site. To just help support the needs of students. We want that to be ongoing because that’s going to be a long road. It’s going to be something that takes time,” said Darci Stenfors, principal of Escanaba High School.

Now, Escanaba’s message is a simple one.

“It’s just been a wonderful coming together of everyone across our region and I can’t thank them enough,” said Wilson.

“To be in a situation where everybody is able to come together so closely has been both refreshing and amazing,” said Fletcher.

“We’re there for you. We’re a family. First and foremost, we’re a family. And we’re here for you,” said Stenfors.

“Just a huge thank you. I mean, we can’t say thank you enough to everybody, everywhere. Keep the Weavers in your prayers and remember Tara and Jerry,” said Beauchamp.

A GoFundMe was started to help the remaining three Weaver children. More than 3,000 people donated more than $222,000.

Read about our previous coverage of how the community supported the Weavers here.