ATHENS — Hundreds of people took some time out of the Labor Day weekend to support a pair of families who are going through a horrific situation.
On Sunday (Sept. 1), Tanner’s Bar and Grill in Athens hosted a cornhole tournament and clambake in honor of 8-year-old Austin Streeter, who was killed in a car accident in South Carolina back on Aug. 22.
Austin, the son of Valley natives Kelli Sinsabaugh and Chris Streeter, was involved in the accident with his mother, who remains in the hospital as she recovers from serious injuries.
The crowd began to arrive at Tanner’s before 11 a.m. on Sunday and would continue to fill the outdoor area and the bar throughout the afternoon and evening.
There would be 67 teams of two competing in the cornhole tournament — with hundreds of others making the trip to enjoy some food, music and maybe bid on some auction items.
When all was said and done, the event raised nearly $25,000 in Austin’s memory. All funds will go to the family.
Tanner’s co-owner Ryan Wood was blown away by the community’s support.
“I knew it was going to be good with everybody that loves Ric (Sinsabaugh) and the Streeter and Sinsabaugh families, but I’ve never seen anything like that, ever,” Wood said. “It was unbelievable. I’m still in shock over the whole thing to be honest with you. There are no words to describe the amount of people and the amount of energy and everything that was there. It was just awesome.”
While the size of the turnout and the funds raised may have surprised Wood, the fact that the community stepped up did not.
“Every time something comes up they just step up and do what they do. It’s unreal ... for them to do what they did on a Sunday with nine days notice, on a holiday weekend, I’m just blown away,” Wood said. “It’s unfortunate that you can’t fix anything that happened with the tragedy that they’re going through, but everybody just wanted to be there for both the families and to show how much love and support they have.”
Tanner’s hosts a lot of fundraisers each year, but this one was special, according to Wood.
“To see that much love and support all in one spot in such a small community, it makes the hair on my arm stand up. We were trying to think of words earlier ... everybody keeps saying ‘unbelievable, amazing.’ I’ve never seen anything like it,” Wood said.
NOTE: If you would like to donate in Austin’s memory go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/celebrating-austins-life.