Garlic Festival Queen sets up GoFundMe for shooting victims

Donations flood in to multiple funds

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Gilroy Garlic Festival Queen Kylie Kuwada, a Gilroy native and Christopher High School alumna, has set up a GoFundMe.com fundraiser for victims of the July 28 shooting on festival grounds.

With an initial goal of $5,000, Kuwada’s “Victim Relief for Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooting” has already raised $3,714 with 63 donors.

“Raising money for the victims of the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting,” Kuwada wrote. “(T)he Gilroy Garlic Festival is a family festival that over 100,000 people enjoy every year. The community of Gilroy will come together to support those affected by this tragic event. All money raised will go directly to the victim’s families.”

Donors also offered their condolences and reactions to the July 28 shooting that claimed four lives (including the shooter) and injured many others at the festival on gofundme.com/f/victim-relief-for-gilroy-galric-festival-shooting, where donations are being accepted.

“It hurts that innocent people were killed and injured during a family festival,” Alicial De La Torre posted. “I never thought this would have happened in my hometown.”

Linsday Fortino wrote: “Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims families of this horrible event. We love Gilroy.”

Kuwada’s page is one of many GoFundMe.com pages set up to help those affected by the shooting. One is dedicated to 6-year-old victim Stephen Luciano Romero, who was fatally wounded by the gunfire. Nearly $72,000 was raised by July 30, only days after it was reported that Romero was one of three fatalities. To donate, visit gofundme.com/f/q3shw-steven-romero.

“Hello, On Sunday 7/28/19, my friend’s 6 year old Steven tragically lost his life at the Gilroy Garlic Festival,” posted organizer Eli Sanchez. “In efforts to aid the Romero family during their time of need, we are asking for donations to help with upcoming final resting expenses and any other hardships the family encounters from this loss.”

More than $50,000 has been raised on GoFundMe.com for 13-year-old Keyla Salazar, who died after being hit by gunfire at the festival. The page (gofundme.com/f/kayla-salazar) was set up by Gilroy’s Bob Mann.

“South County CDJR would appreciate your support as another young child’s life has been taken away at 13 years Keyla Salazar, by senseless act of violence at our local yearly city event Gilroy Garlic Festival,” Mann wrote. “Many of our staff and employees are apart of the Gilroy community and we support this event yearly. We are in direct contact with Keyla’s family also. Please share with others; together we can help with this heartbreaking loss.”

The third victim, 25-year-old Trevor Irby, was with his girlfriend when he was also fatally shot at the Garlic Festival. The “Trevor Irby Memorial” page (gofundme.com/f/trevor-irby-memorial) has raised more than $13,600 with 334 donors. It was set up by his friends Matt Hey, Steven Wyrosdick and Ben Schreiber, who all met at Keuka College in New York.

“On July 28th, 2019, Trevor Irby was wrongfully taken from his family and friends at the age of 25,” Wyrosdick wrote. “While living in Santa Cruz with his girlfriend Sarah, they attended the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Trevor was an unfortunate victim of the mass shooting that occurred at the Garlic Festival that day.”

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