Metro family raises money for Mothers Against Drunk Driving after 23-year-old killed by driver under the influence
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - A Metro family is hosting fundraisers in honor of 23-year-old Racheal Grace Neldon, known as Gracie, after she was killed in a car accident in April.
Jennifer Neldon’s life has never been the same since April 29, when her 23-year-old daughter Gracie was killed by a teen driving under the influence.
“We were just in shock and denial,” Neldon said.
She’s someone the family described as kind, generous, loving and a caretaker to those in her life.
“She was engaged, and she wanted to have babies, and she had this whole life ahead of her,” Neldon said. “She was just so excited to get started on her adult life, so for it to be so abruptly taken.”
Gracie was driving on Highway 79 in Lincoln County, just south of Route C, when a car crossed over the center lane hitting and killing her.
“We of course were angry and hurt, but her life is positivity,” Neldon said. “She was happy and fun, so angry just doesn’t cut it.”
Her family is turning pain into purpose by hosting fundraisers throughout the Metro, selling cookies shaped like blue butterflies.
Gracie’s uncle Brad Lamb says so far, they’ve raised more than $2,000.
“Something good to get her name out there, get people talking, tell her story and her symbol for us has been the blue butterfly,” Lamb says. “We see blue butterflies everywhere. They have surrounded us before. We feel like that’s her coming to say hello.”
All of the money raised is going to the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
“If you’ve lost a child, you need to pay that forward and help support people,” Neldon said. “Hold them up. Because it is the hardest thing, you could ever go through to lose a child.”
Neldon wants to see change on Highway 79, with more lighting and a slower speed limit.
You can donate to Gracie’s tribute link for MADD here.
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