blue springs fundraiser at sidepockets

BLUE SPRINGS, MO (KCTV) -- On Friday, people in Blue Springs came out in droves to support the families of three teenagers who were killed in a wreck last weekend.

Nick Fordham, Darrian Warmack, and Kaylen Wright crested a hill -- at high speed by all accounts -- clipped another car, and then landed in a ravine.

The owner of Sidepockets made quick work of getting a fundraiser together.

Eight pool tables were filled with donated silent auction items. As for the poker tables, it was a $40 buy-in multiplied by 60 players.

It’s all going to the families because the bar is donating the winnings.

Sheila Handley had no problem showing her cards at the table. Just hours earlier, she’d seen her son for the first time since he died.

“Nick truly believed he was invincible,” Handley said. “He really did.”

“He goes, ‘Mom, I’m smart. It’s not going to happen,’” she recalled, “but every one of his friends now see that it can happen.”

“I couldn’t imagine the pain that she’s going through,” said Amanda Hicok, the bar manager’s wife and the woman who helped organize the event.

The Chiefs contributed, as did the Mavericks and dozens of collectors. There was a signed football from Eric Berry. Residents and business owners across eastern Jackson County did, too.

Two firefighter medics who responded to the grisly scene came by to buy raffle tickets and pay their respects.

“He wanted every one of his friends to be together in the same room,” Handley recalled.

Her son got that on Friday night and his parents got more than just help with expenses.

“I know that all three of those boys were very, very loved, and that’s very comforting,” Handley said.

She said social media has been a blessing for her. So many people begin their messages of support with “I don’t know you, but…”

Aaron Habben lives a quarter of a mile from where the wreck happened.

“I’m like, this can’t be happening,” Habben recalled.

He feels a connection beyond the geography, though. It’s one that goes back 20 years or more to when a friend died while hill jumping at the age of 16. Habben was a teenager himself at the time.

“They make stupid decisions sometimes,” Habben said. “I made stupid decisions in my life. I lived through it.”

He said luck was the only thing that kept him from the same fate as the boys whose families were at Friday’s event.

Sidepockets didn’t know how much money they’d raised until after they closed at 2:30 a.m.

Just before 4 a.m., Hicok sent a release to local media that said, “The fundraiser went extremely well tonight.”

“Tonight, with the silent auction, cash and check donations we raised over $15,000!” she said.

“We still have incoming donations, and some items that need to be paid for. Not including the GoFundMe page, which will be closing on Wednesday, we are hoping for over $16,000.”

That GoFundMe can be found here.

Copyright 2018 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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