Efforts to help survivors of a tragedy often fade as the tragedy itself fades from headlines. However, two businesses in central Virginia are stepping up to remind people of a recent tragedy by helping the Virginia Tech Scholarship Fund.
Fluvanna County resident Charlie Kingrea watched alongside the nation as the events of April 16 unfolded in Blacksburg.
He says, "We were sitting here wondering what can we do to try to help. And there was absolutely nothing we could do."
So during the past summer, Kingrea, who is the owner of a jewelry store, decided to do something by designing and creating a 14-karat gold ring in memory of the fallen Hokies.
Kingrea knows he can't turn back the clock to bring back any of the lost lives, but he says that using life's most precious stone can symbolize just how precious each life that was lost was to people.
"We thought, 'What better than a diamond for every person that lost a life,'" says Kingrea.
However, he also decided the ring wouldn't be enough on its own. Kingrea wanted something else, something bigger, something that could really stand out.
After talking with his friends at Dirty South Choppers in Palmyra, his friends decided they would build a motorcycle from the ground up.
Michael Weimer, owner of Dirty South Chopper, says, "That's where we come in because we build frames, chassies."
Weimer has been working to hand craft the motorcycle with parts that were bought by donations from the Fluvanna community. He says when done this bike will be a one of a kind design.
"We picked what I like most about the designs because we wanted the bike to really look cool and stand out from everything else that's ever been built," says Weimer.
Both Kingrea and Weimer say they are hoping these Fluvanna-built gifts will help rebuild a campus that was so affected by tragedy.
Kingrea says, "Just let them know that we're aware of what happened and hope that nothing like that would ever happen again."
Both the creation of the ring and the building of the motorcycle will be shown together in a television special on a major cable netowrk this spring. The items will be auctioned off on October 8 on the Speed Network.