Fundraisers, candlelight vigil to be held for Berlin boy killed in hunting accident

A candlelight vigil, fundraisers, and messages of love are shared with the family of an 11-year-old hunting accident victim
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 5:47 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2022 at 4:21 PM CST
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BERLIN, Wis. (WBAY) - The Berlin community continues to rally behind the family of an 11-year-old boy who was killed in a hunting accident over the weekend.

Easton Thom died Sunday while hunting in Green Lake County. A man was intending to unload a firearm when it went off.

Easton was a sixth-grader at Berlin Middle School. Students wore blaze orange Monday to honor him. His locker is adorned top to bottom with messages on Post-It Notes with orange balloons on the top.

There are dozens of fundraisers, including pork dinners and bake sales, being organized to support the family during this difficult time.

The organization Unimaginable Hope is encouraging people to donate to the Thom family as part of Giving Tuesday, which is next week, Nov. 29. The group says 100% of donations now through the end of November will go to the Thoms. CLICK HERE for more information.

Community members organized a candlelight vigil for this Friday, Nov. 25, at 6 p.m. It will be held at Riverside Park in Berlin.

People are encouraged to wear blaze orange, bring a candle, and show love and support for the family. CLICK HERE to learn more about the vigil.

“The most important is to just show the family, the entire family, that the community of Berlin has them wrapped in their arms,” vigil organizer Kathleen Nechkash said.

A benefit account for Easton Thom’s family is set up at Farmers and Merchants Bank of Berlin.

Checks can be sent to:

Easton Thom Benefit

c/o Farmers and Merchants Bank

P.O. Box 270

Berlin, WI 54923

Businesses in town are also donating proceeds to the family.

Of course, no amount of money will bring Easton back, but organizers tell us they hope to ease any of the financial burden that comes along with tragedy.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource and Green Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene in the Township of Seneca at about 9 a.m. Sunday. Authorities say Easton was shot in the chest after a 41-year-old man attempted to unload his firearm while it was placed in the back seat of a vehicle.

“At some point in that process, the firearm discharged and struck the victim as it travels through the back passenger of the vehicle,” the DNR’s Bob Kneeland said.

Easton was flown via Med Flight to a hospital where he died from his injuries.

Easton’s family is well-known in the community. His mom works for the Berlin School District. His father owns the Country Inn Bar & Grill on the outskirts of town. The restaurant, on behalf of the family, is asking for privacy at this time.