La Pine community steps up for grieving family

Fundraiser brings tally for Hickmans to over $10,000

La Pine aids grief-stricken family

LA PINE, Ore. - Following a tragic series of events, an Oregon family with roots in La Pine was reunited this week.

And with the help of the La Pine community, they've received a huge hand in tackling funeral expenses. 

Amoz and mother Janice Hickman were killed in a car crash in Flagstaff, Arizona last week.  They were traveling back to their home in Sutherlin, Oregon with daughter-in-law Ellie Hickman, who was diagnosed with cancer in May. 

Last week, a La Pine resident and longtime friend of the Hickman family, Genevieve McCall, started a bank account at Washington Federal in La Pine.  Another resident started an online donation fund

On Wednesday night, the La Pine community gathered as one to support the family dealt an overwhelming amount of bad news. 

And as the rain fell for what felt like the first time in months, spirits rose in the Hickman family for the first time in almost as long.

"We couldn't have done it without everybody's help.  We're home," said Audleigh Hickman, older brother of 20-year –old Amoz.

The event started at 5 p.m. with a barbecue. However, with a downpouring of rain, event organizers had to improvise.

FitZone owner Dianne Logsdon scheduled a Zumba-thon charity event for the Hickmans at 7, but opened her doors early so attendees could stay dry.

"The rain did not cooperate, so we decided to bring it all over here," Logsdon said. "And the community just rallied and set it all up, and all showed up.  It was pretty cool. "

A dessert auction followed the barbeque, raising an estimated $700 in addition to the over $10,000 risen by the La Pine community in the past week. 

"This whole town is a family, and we came together as a family," said McCall. 

And for that family's father, it's a welcome feeling in a time where they've been hard to come by.

"I've been pretty numb most of the week," said Greg Hickman, father of Amoz Hickman and husband of Janice. 

"You don't realize it when you're living life," he added, "but when something happens like this, it's amazing how people treat you in the community."

The online donation fund will remain open for funeral expenses.  Funeral services are scheduled to take place on Saturday at 1 p.m. in La Pine. 

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