BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) – In Black River Falls, the community is coming together to help one of their own. A fundraiser was held at the high school’s hockey game that raised thousands for a former Tiger.

While stationed in California with the Marine Corps, Jacob Meek, or George as many know him by, was involved in a hit and run accident on Christmas Day. He suffered major injuries, has had a number of surgeries and was in a coma for two weeks. He has since woken up.

Even though he is thousands of miles away, the Tigers roared for George.

“I was just thinking of putting a donation jar out at the rink,” Jessica Meek said.

Jessica wanted to do something to help her nephew, George, while on the long road to recovery.

What started as a small gesture turned into a community-wide event where the Tigers of Black River Falls roared for George.

“Then people just wanted to help and people kept donating more and more things, saying we should do a raffle, we should do baskets, we should do something at a game,” Jessica said.

At Friday night’s hockey game, a fundraiser was held in support of George and his family. An estimated $7,000 was raised.

“People that George played hockey with, some families went together, some are from local businesses, places that George worked at, places where his parents worked, just community members that just felt like they wanted to donate and heard about the fundraiser,” Jessica said.

Laurel Meek, George’s mom, is in California with her son.

“We know him and what a fighter he is and how determined he is and just asked for prayers from people and it is just absolutely outstanding the progress that he’s making,” Laurel said.

She said the amount of support her son has been shown is bigger than she could have ever imagined.

“It’s such a warm feeling,” Laurel said. “We always knew we had an amazing community and town and everybody’s you know, just a large family. Thank you is such a small word, but we are just so appreciative.”

Jessica said you never know the power that a community can have. Even a small city can rally together for their own in a time of need.

“And not just Black River Falls as a whole, but the hockey community in and of itself,” Jessica said. “It’s been really nice.”

The money raised from the fundraiser will go to George’s family to help with medical expenses and the uphill climb he faces to get back on his feet. His mom says George is working hard to be able to speak again and is making outstanding progress.