Friends to honor boy who died in river with fundraiser this morning

Friends to honor boy who died in river with fundraiser this morning »Play Video
Jake Arntson.

CLACKAMAS, Ore. – As soon as a family friend of a boy who died in the Columbia River created a fundraiser, she says the event quickly became huge because the whole community is coming together.

Jake Arntson, 7, and his dad, John, were driving through the Gorge Monday when they hit ice on Interstate 84 near Mosier. The truck slid off the freeway and into the river. Jake's father survived the accident.

Event organizers are expecting a large crowd Friday morning to support the family and honor Jake who was loved by so many.

"He was probably the cutest kid I ever met. He was always a joy to be around," said Cooper Mickelson, who knows Arntson's family. "He always made you laugh. He was always saying things that made you laugh. He’s a great kid."

Players his dad coached to others in the baseball community, like family friends Trudy Jaha and her husband, have been devastated by Jake's death.

"Everybody's been wanting to do something but not know what can we do. Nobody wants to do anything that would be deemed as inappropriate or too soon," Jaha said.

So they organized a fundraiser that will be held at 212 Sports. They're taking donations, selling photos of Jake and custom T-shirts with 100 percent of proceeds going to Jake's memorial fund.

It's an entire community giving back to a boy they cherished.

"A kid that truly needs to be remembered in such a great way," said Jaha.

The fundraiser starts at 10 a.m. Friday at 212 Sports, a sports complex in Clackamas at 11791 S.E. Highway 212.

On Sunday they plan to celebrate Jake's life at a memorial service in the Clackamas High School gym at 1 p.m.