The town of La Porte has always been a tight-knit community regardless of its size, and in the wake of a tragic accident, has shown more unity in the past few weeks than it ever has before.
On June 21, a three-year-old boy, Edward Burek-Phillips, was involved in a serious tractor incident that put him in critical condition. He was flown to Comer’s Children’s Hospital, where he is currently seeking treatment. During this difficult time, the mother, Rebecca Burek and her family have been leaning on each other for support. There are several people Miss Burek has been grateful to have, but there is one in particular that has made this entire situation easier.
“My fiance has been one to keep my head up when things get tough, as a momma seeing her baby in so much pain. He has never let me down once or said anything that wouldn’t help me get through this,” Miss Burek said.
Following the accident, individuals and businesses were quick to support and encourage the family in any way possible. Countless activities have been set up to help pay for the child’s medical bills in the form of a GoFundMe, many individual donations, donations from businesses, and even merchandise made to raise awareness.
“I honestly do not know why the community has stepped up to be such wonderful people to our family, but I have been told that everyone here has the utmost respect for Burek Farms and we have earned respect all over the community, mainly Ed Burek Sr. which is Bubs loving, wonderful Papa,” Miss Burek said.
One of the businesses that has donated is Memories Made Photography. The owner deposited $200 and even one of her children donated all of his saved money to help out Burek-Phillips. On July 5, Memories Made Photography also held photo sessions where all proceeds would go to the family. Another photography studio, Cari Hughes Photography, also held four mini photo sessions, where all money made would help out.
Another organization coming to help is CK Designs, which have designed over 400 t-shirts to sell with Burek-Phillips’ name on it, his age, and writing at the bottom that reads “Daddy and Momma raised a fighter." Similar to CK, bracelets were sold with Burek-Phillips’ name on it at the Farmer’s Market for $5. M & M Custom Embroidery also offered hats with a “Team Bub” design for $10.
Cafe Trilogy, T-Berry’s Diner, Patrick’s Grille, and Jennie Rae’s have also pitched in in their own unique ways. Cafe Trilogy started a fundraiser named “Milk and Cookies for Eddie,” where for five days all of the money they made went to the Burek family. So far they have raised $6000. T-Berry’s did something similar by giving 10% of all sales for one day to the family. Patrick’s Grille held a silent auction and a similar “giveback” event and Jennie Rae’s has a donation box open in the restaurant for anyone who wants to help out.
Other donations include Sims Meat Processing’ raffle tickets. The tickets can be purchased at Helena Chemical Company, Generations Hair Salon, Happy Cars Detailing & Repair, Coalliance, from Lauren White at Studio 46390, Center Township Trustees Office, and from Eric Pointon at Goetz Irrigation up until the drawing on August 26th. Tickets are $10.
“It’s the most amazing feeling in the world to see how many people care about our son and want to help my family out. A simple thank you will never be enough. I will never in my life be able to express how incredibly grateful we are for this entire community,” Miss Burek said.
Benefits are also being held in the upcoming months. The La Porte Civic Auditorium is holding one on October 7th. Live music, raffle tickets, food, and drink are all included during the night. A benefit ride is happening at the American Legion on July 30th with an all you can eat pancake breakfast preceding it that morning from 7-11 a.m. There will also be raffle tickets. Facebook parties have also reached out to help the Burek family. Younique and Scentsy have both held their product internet parties where all proceeds went to the family.
Shear Madness Hair Studio and WK Studio have both helped out in their own ways. Shear Madness took half of their profits for a week and donated to the family, while WK had a giveback day. A demolition derby was also held in Burek-Phillips honor at the La Porte County Fairgrounds on July 9th.
“I just want to thank everyone again for all the amazing things you have done for my family! We are a strong family and you all have helped aid that in this time in our lives! Thank you to everyone and please continue prayer for EVERYONE especially the people giving back. Bless you and your families,” Miss Burek said.
As little Burek-Phillips recovers, the community will continue to be supportive for both him and his family. Regardless of the circumstances, La Porte county will remain being #BubStrong.