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The Zanesville community is rallying to help a local family in their time of need. The Pizza Hut at 3355 Maple Ave. is hosting a fundraiser Tuesday to raise money for the Mariah Swingle Benefit Fund.
Nineteen-year-old Mariah Swingle was critically injured in a motorcycle accident last week that claimed the life of the driver, 27-year-old Jayjuan Sherrell. Swingle's family created the "Prayers for Mariah Swingle" Facebook page as a way to update the community on her condition in addition to raising funds to help with medical expenses.
"My sister-in-law actually started it (last) Monday afternoon, and by Monday evening we had 1,000 likes," said Monica Batteiger, a cousin to Mariah. "Now we're up to 5,087 I believe, and we're pretty overwhelmed with the support and the prayers. It's very comforting to know that the community is behind us."
The Pizza Hut will be donating 10 percent of sales and 100 percent of tips from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday May 20 and May 27 to the Mariah Swingle Benefit Fund. While Swingle is still in critical condition, Batteiger says the family is thankful for all the support.
"We watch the page. The support has definitely kept spirits in the family up," Batteiger said. "We keep asking for your prayers because we need them."
In addition to the Pizza Hut fundraiser, those who wish to help the family can also make a donation to Mariah's fund at Century National Bank. More information on other fundraisers can be found on the "Prayers for Mariah Swingle" Facebook account.