Excel Martial Arts opened its doors and its heart Saturday, as it hosted an event to raise funds for the family of Nathan Appleton.
Appleton, a Chilliwack husband and father of three young children, was killed last month in a workplace accident on a construction site in New Westminster. He was 28.
The tragic news hit close to home at Excel as Nathan’s sister, Koren Appleton, is a student at the martial arts studio. Owner Adam Gibson started collecting funds for Nathan’s family shortly after the accident.
Saturday afternoon’s event featured a movie and games day at the studio. The event was by-donation — parents were welcome to drop their kids off and go do some Christmas shopping, or stay and relax with a 15-minute by-donation massage from instructor Gail Tremeer.
About 60 kids participated and Excel Martial Arts raised a total of $5,790 for the Appleton family.
“I just want to say I am so touched by the people reaching out offering help and donations. It is so heart-warming,” wrote Gibson on Excel’s Facebook page.
Additionally, Jim’s Pizza across the street from the studio, got wind of the fundraiser and donated several pizzas to the event.
Anyone wishing to donate to the family can do so on their GoFundMe page. As of Saturday, more than $18,500 had been raised for the family.