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Benefit planned for families of accident victims

In an effort to help with the financial burden four New Richmond families are facing after their boys were involved in a tragic accident on July 30, a group of New Richmondites are organizing a benefit for the families.

Josh Goodrich, Jordan Johnson and Zach Zajec died as a result of injuries sustained when the vehicle they were traveling in crashed into a stopped flatbed semi-trailer on Interstate 94. A fourth person, Tom Wanless, received non-life threatening injuries in the crash.

The benefit, scheduled for 3-9 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8, will take place at Ready Randy's Sports Bar and Grill, 1490 131st St., south of New Richmond. Tickets are $10 for those older than 10 years old; $6 for those 9 years old and younger.

The event was designed as a way for people to help the families pay for medical and memorial costs associated with the accident, said Angi Wilson, whose son was friends with some of the boys.

"Sue (Westphal) got ahold of me and said that she and Dick were interested in doing something for the families," Wilson said. "We both have seniors. Her son Ricky was best friends with Josh Goodrich. And those boys were some of my son's best friends in the whole world."

Wilson said the women are working in cooperation with the families, especially Ben Wanless, who started the webpage, as a way for people to donate online and watch news coverage of the crash.

The benefit will include a silent auction, bake sale from 3-9 p.m. and spaghetti dinner from 4-8 p.m., Wilson said.

"We really have to thank Randy Callaja for his help with this," Wilson said. "He's been so generous with giving us the banquet facility for free and offering suggestions. We couldn't have done this without him."

Those who want to contribute, but can't attend the event, can send monetary donations to WESTconsin Credit Union; c/o Ourfourboys; 121 E. Meridian Drive; New Richmond, Wis. 54017 or visit and click on "donate." All proceeds from the event will be used to help with medical/memorial expenses for the boys.

The group is still accepting items for the silent auction and volunteers for the event. Anyone interested in obtaining more information is asked to call Wilson at 715-781-2717 or Westphal at 715-246-4662.

"The outpouring of support from our community has been remarkable and we appreciate any help you can give to contribute to the success of this benefit," Wilson said. "Please continue to keep the family and friends of these beloved four boys in your thoughts and prayers."