Coming together for the Cunningham’s

  • By DAN BALMER
  • Thursday, April 3, 2014 9:58pm
  • News
Photo courtesy Shannan Cunningham. Trevor and Shannan Cunningham take a family portrait with their four children last fall. From top, Shelby, Shannan, Trevor, Dillan, Gage and Austin. Following the death of Trevor Cunningham in a Jan. 22 accident in Homer, a fundraiser has been organized to help support the family. A spagetti feed will be held from 5-9 p.m. Saturday at Kenai Central High School cafeteria.

Photo courtesy Shannan Cunningham. Trevor and Shannan Cunningham take a family portrait with their four children last fall. From top, Shelby, Shannan, Trevor, Dillan, Gage and Austin. Following the death of Trevor Cunningham in a Jan. 22 accident in Homer, a fundraiser has been organized to help support the family. A spagetti feed will be held from 5-9 p.m. Saturday at Kenai Central High School cafeteria.

While looking for a civics project to help give back in the community, Kenai Central High School seniors Dacia Shier and Justice English could not think of a more noble cause then to support a Soldotna family struck by tragedy.

Shier, 18, and English, 17, have organized a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for the Trevor Cunningham family to be held from 5-9 p.m. Saturday at KCHS cafeteria. All proceeds for the event go to the Cunningham family following the death of Trevor Cunningham, 29, in a Jan. 22 single-vehicle accident in Homer.

The dinner event includes a silent auction, split the pot, raffles for prizes and games. Sportsman’s Warehouse will have sporting goods on display with proceeds going to the Cunningham family, Shier said. Ticket prices are $10 for ages 4-12 and $15 for anyone 13 and older.

Shier said about the time she was searching for a senior project for her leadership class, Trevor Cunningham’s death hit the community hard. His death left his wife, Shannan Cunningham and four children without a husband and father.

“While most projects I heard about were other students coaching or painting a building, which is great, I wanted to make more of an impact in someone’s life,” Shier said. “I have attended benefit dinners in the past and it has worked well for raising money for worthy causes.”

Shier, who will be attending Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in the fall, said she would like to pursue a career as an event planner. The organizers invited more than 2,000 people to the event through Facebook.

For use of the kitchen, the school cooks will prepare the food ahead of time, while Shier organized volunteers to cover shifts to serve people. She said through her after-school leadership class, taught by Justin Carr, she has been able to fill up to 20 positions to make the event run smoothly. Shannan Cunningham said she was amazed that two high school students put the benefit together.

“(Shier) read the story of his passing, and wanted to help me and the kids because Trevor was our sole provider,” she said. “It is amazing to me how the community has come together to support our family. I cannot put into words what that means to me.”

While they have not met in person, Shier has been in contact with Shannan Cunningham asking her how they could incorporate things about her husband’s life into the event. Shannan Cunningham along with Trevor Cunningham’s mother Debora Lee, are putting together a photo collage and slide show for the dinner.

Shannan Cunningham, who is taking correspondence classes to be a substance abuse counselor, said continuing her education has been slow going with everything she has been dealing with the last few months.

“It is a little overwhelming,” she said. “I didn’t think we would get any help.”

The Cunninghams, who were married in Homer last June, first met in 2008. She said Trevor Cunningham worked hard so she could be home with the kids. When he wasn’t working, family time was important to him; they would plan camping and snowmachine activities together, she said.

Trevor Cunningham, born and raised in Soldotna, died in a single-vehicle accident on East End Road Jan. 22. While hauling drilling mud, the commercial semi-truck he was driving flipped and the tank separated from the frame. The mechanical failure caused his truck to run off the road and ejected him from the vehicle.

Shannan Cunningham said she is thankful for the support from the community. People from throughout the peninsula have contacted her. One man from Homer tried to find the wedding ring in the field off East End Road, she said.

“It’s an eye-opener that people from all over who don’t even know me have contacted us to help,” she said.

Shier and English have gone to businesses in the community asking for donations. For anyone unable to attend but interested in helping, Shier said there is an account set up for the family at Wells Fargo under the name “Bridges Cunningham fund.”

Shier said she and English both enjoy volunteering in the community. She has served dinners at the Kenai Senior Center and helped at the Kenai River Marathon this past summer. She said while they have not set a monetary goal, for the event to be a success, support and generosity of the community is the most important thing to rally for a family in need.

“It is cool to get out in the community,” she said. “It is nice for us to be able to help a deserving family and bring people together.”

More in News

Nate Rochon cleans fish after dipnetting in the Kasilof River, on June 25, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
King closures continue; Kasilof dipnet opens Saturday

The early-run Kenai River king sport fishery remains closed, and fishing for kings of any size is prohibited

An "Al Gross for Congress" sign sits near the driveway to Gross’ home in Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, after he announced plans to withdraw from the U.S. House race. Gross has given little explanation in two statements for why he is ending his campaign, and a woman who answered the door at the Gross home asked a reporter to leave the property. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
Alaska judge rules Sweeney won’t advance to special election

JUNEAU — A state court judge ruled Friday that Alaska elections officials… Continue reading

Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion 
Soldotna City Manager Stephanie Queen listens to a presentation from Alaska Communications during a meeting of the Soldotna City Council on Wednesday, March 9, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska.
ACS pilots fiber program in certain peninsula neighborhoods

The fiber to the home service will make available the fastest internet home speeds on the peninsula

Nurse Tracy Silta draws a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the walk-in clinic at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling Highways in Soldotna, Alaska on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. COVID-19 vaccines for kids younger than 5 years old are now approved by both the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
COVID shots for kids under 5 available at public health

Roughly 18 million kids nationwide will now be eligible to get their COVID vaccines.

Megan Mitchell, left, and Nick McCoy protest the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning of Roe v. Wade at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling highways on Friday, June 24, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Heartbroken’, ‘Betrayed’: Alaskans react to Roe decision

Supreme Court decision ends nearly 50 years of legally protected access to abortion

Demonstrators gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022. The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years, a decision by its conservative majority to overturn the court’s landmark abortion cases. (AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana)
Alaskans react to Supreme Court overturn of Roe v. Wade

The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion.

Tara Sweeney, a Republican seeking the sole U.S. House seat in Alaska, speaks during a forum for candidates, May 12, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP Photo/ Mark Thiessen)
Lawsuit says Sweeney should advance in Alaska US House race

The lawsuit says the fifth-place finisher in the special primary, Republican Tara Sweeney, should be put on the August special election ballot

Gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker stands in the Peninsula Clarion office on Friday, May 6, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska AFL-CIO endorses Walker, Murkowski, Peltola

The AFL-CIO is Alaska’s largest labor organization and has historically been one of its most powerful political groups

A portion of a draft letter from Jeffrey Clark is displayed as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Federal agents search Trump-era official’s home, subpoena GOP leaders

Authorities on Wednesday searched the Virginia home of Jeffrey Clark

Most Read