As a City Honors student recovers from a horrific crash, his classmate is working to raise funds to help with his medical expenses. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says more than $29,000 has been raised so far after two different on-line sites were established.
“And then it just kept growing and growing and growing until eventually we reached $29,000 on that website,” said Sam Battaglia, City Honors student. "We sold 664 shirts on that website."
Battaglia set up a T-shirts selling campaign, on-line, short after learning his classmate and basketball teammate, 15-year-old Nate Kahn, was critically injured and lost his lower left leg.
“The T-shirts are grey with Nate on the front, posing as Michael Jordan. It was drawn to specifically look like Nate, so you could see his hair and the headband he always wears and his jersey with his number and then the back of the shirt, his number is on there too, 14, really big in cardinal red, our school colors,” explained Battaglia.
Kahn was hit by a car after the New Year's Eve Ball Drop celebrations. It happened along Richmond Avenue at Connecticut and Bryant in Buffalo. The driver, from Utica, plowed his car into another vehicle hitting Kahn, two other teenagers as well as a 61-year old man on the sidewalk. The driver was charged with Driving While Intoxicated and vehicular assault.
Battaglia’s first effort to sell the T-shirts actually crashed a website with overwhelming support. The T-shirt say "Pray for Nate".
“That quickly blew up and we crashed the entire website – not even just the page – the entire site crashed within half an hour to an hour,” Battaglia explained.
Kahn, only freshman, had already made the varsity basketball team at City Honors.
The T-shirt campaign is helping to raise funds for the family to pay for medical expenses and asks for prayers.
“He’s an amazing athlete,” declared Battaglia.
Two other teen victims were also hospitalized, one had been released. WBFO News had confirmed the third teen injured attends Canisius High School. He had been reported in critical condition, but the school could not release any information.
Meanwhile, Battaglia said he doesn't want to take any credit for this effort. He and his City Honors teammates are just trying to help out.
“We’ve been trying to provide as much support as we can to him. That was one of the biggest reason we started this campaign in the beginning” Battaglia stated.