WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The state of Texas may be big but when a tragedy strikes one of us it impacts us all.
After the body of 7-year-old Athena Strand of Paradise, Texas was found, schools and community members across the state are coming together to remember her and support her family during this difficult time, even folks right here in Texoma.
It was a busy Monday for the team at the Don Jose Mexican Restaurant here in town, but there’s a big reason for this rush.
“It’s tragic what happened to Athena, but I think as a community, we should come all together and help each other,” Assistant Manager Marcos Ramos said.
Athena Strand was the 7-year-old last seen on November 30th. She had been kidnapped from her home in Paradise and after a two-day search, things took a turn for the worst when her body was found in Boyd, just 9 miles away from her home. The heartbreaking outcome no one hoped for became a reality.
That’s when owners at Don Jose knew they wanted to pitch in.
“Tony hit me up on Saturday morning, he’s like “Do you want to do something for this little girl?” Ramos said.
Ramos said when they announced they would be dedicating 100% of the proceeds made at their store on Monday to the Strand family, our community went above and beyond.
“He said, ‘okay, we’re going to do something so we can share it on Facebook,’ but we never knew that it would go viral,” Ramos said.
Indeed it did.
Ramos said people poured in, many dressed in pink, Athena’s favorite color, to support the cause because Athena could’ve easily been a child of ours.
“I don’t have words to describe what they are going through right now the family. Especially their family, probably has went through a lot right now, but I want to let them know we’re there for them,” Ramos said.
While we know this won’t bring Athena back, the hope is that this will at least help the family heal.
While Monday was the main fundraiser, the team said you can still drop off donations to the Wichita Falls and Duncan locations for Athena in the coming days.