More than $50,000 was raised Sunday by family and friends of Heather Abbott, the Newport woman who was injured in the Boston Marathon bombings and had her leg amputated.
A fundraiser was held at Dockside in Newport where "Heather Strong" T-shirts and bracelets were sold with all the proceeds going to the family. In addition, entrance fees to the event, bartender tips and proceeds from a silent auction were all donated to the family.
"Her mom said to me, 'We knew it would be busy. We knew there would be a lot of people,'" said organizer Ryan Belmore. "Just to see their reaction has moved a lot of us."
It took organizers only six days to put the event together, and it drew more than 1,600 people.
"[I] cannot tell you how much we thank everybody for their support throughout this whole ordeal," said Michelle Dalrymple, speaking on behalf of Abbott and her family. "From day one, she's never lost her strength, her sense of humor, her perseverance."
Dalrymple was with Abbott in Boston when the bombs went off. She said Abbott would be the first one to help anyone else if roles had been reversed.
"It's a reflection of Heather. If the situation was reversed, she'd be the first person doing it," Dalrymple said.
A GoFundMe donation site has been set up for Abbott and other fundraisers are in the works for the future. Her friends said they don't know when Abbott will be released from the hospital, but hope that she will begin physical therapy in a week's time.