Durant family raising money for scholarship fund in son's memory
A Durant family raised around $3,000 for a scholarship in their son's name. They lost him to suicide earlier this year.
The dinner and auction event is one of many ways they're planning to endow the fund.
Jamie Weber's family remembers him as a talented and loving son, brother, uncle and friend.
"He was a very, very creative young man. We lost something when we lost him," said family friend Judy Stephens.
Jamie died by suicide in March. He was 16 years old.
His mom Suzy Weber said he loved to play with his nieces and nephews and had a passion for writing.
"He loved writing. He started writing short stories from the time he could... basically when he first learned to write," Suzy said.
Suzy and her husband decided to start a scholarship fund in his name to keep his memory alive.
"He always wanted to make everybody else happy. He was the most empathetic kid I knew. He knew he had some issues. He was actually dealing with those and going through counseling and taking some medication, but we lost him. And I want to make sure that we can help erase the stigma around suicide," Suzy said.
The Foxtrot Scholarship is established at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in memory of Jamie for college students studying education or music.
In order to fully endow the scholarship, they need to raise $15,000.
"It's continuing what he would've done. Because he wrote a book and he was gonna use the proceeds to help other people. So this is just taking what he did and continuing on with it a little bit," said Stephens.
Jamie's novel is set to be published early next year.
"When I found out that his book was getting published I was really happy. I practically started bursting in happy tears cause it just reminded me of him so much," said Zoey Celedon, Jamie's niece.
Along with donations, proceeds from the book sales will go toward the scholarship fund.
"I have his book cover as my wallpaper on my phone," said Carter Weber, Jamie's nephew.
They hope to continue telling Jamie's story and help others by raising awareness for mental health.