Good Neighbors Support Grieving Families

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

HARRISONBURG, Va -- Cyndal Ward was one of two teenagers from Turner Ashby High School, who died in late October. Cyndal's family just moved to the Valley, but Corina Johnson, Cyndal's mother, said she has gotten a lot of support from the community.

Corina Johnson is keeping herself busy. She works at a new barbecue restaurant in Harrisonburg.

“Right now I'm just trying to keep it together and live through each day,” said Johnson.

Not a day goes by that Johnson doesn't think about her daughter Cyndal.

“You know it's real but it doesn't seem real.”

Cyndal died late October in a car crash, along with her friend, Jackson Reel. Johnson recently moved to the Valley to help open John Boyz BBQ Shack.

“I know that laying around and feeling sorry for myself and not living life is not what I would want her to do if this situation was reverse.”

She said she never expected so much support.

“I am so blessed to have good friends and family that help through.”

They are not the only ones helping. Workers at Kline's Dairy Bar started a fundraiser to help Cyndal and Jackson's family with funeral and medical costs.

"She sorta came into our lives and we are like a family here and she really did a lot for us, which was so nice and she didn't really have that many people around her and we just wanted to help her out because she is such a sweet person," said Katie Budd, a Kline's Dairy Bar employee.

Budd said it was going well so far.

“A lot of people put all their change in the bucket, so they're really interested,” said Budd.

Johnson described what it was like to see good neighbors come together and help her family in their time of need.

“Everybody has been so wonderful and embraced us and we appreciate that. We really do,” said Johnson.

Johnson said she is still trying to figure out medical costs and she hopes she can donate some of the money to the drama and the wrestling team at Turner Ashby. Those were the two activities both teenagers were involved in.

If you would like to help, you can donate in jars at Kline's Dairy Bar in Harrisonburg and also at Jon Boyz BBQ Shack, which is right next-door.

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