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Whit's Inn hosts fundraiser in honor of Whiteland Community High School student who died Tuesday

Alaina
Posted at 7:51 PM, May 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-19 19:51:02-04

WHITELAND — The color purple, pineapples, music and art.

Dana Vargo says these were a few of Alaina’s favorite things.

“She knew what she wanted to do in life. She loved animals. She rescued cats. She wanted to be a vet, president of the United States, you name it! She was just going places," Vargo said.

The 15-year-old Whiteland Community High School students drowned the pool during P.E. class Tuesday.

Family, friends and neighbors came together for a fundraiser in her honor on Friday.

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Vargo is a close family friend and says since Alaina was a young girl, she was the fiery personality in any room.

“She would’ve been here blowing up balloons, tying them up and telling where I was putting them wrong and everything else," she said.

20 percent of all food sales at Whit’s Inn Bar and Grill will be donated to the affected family.

Greenwood-based company BAM weather will also match those donations 1:1.

“As of this morning for breakfast, we’ve raised over $1,000," Bar manager Nancy Gill said.

Gill says it’s heartwarming to see people come out in droves to support this cause.

“We are hoping for sure that we can meet the family’s goal of their GoFundMe and we will double it to help with their expenses for whatever they may need," she said.

Michael Clark’s aunt and uncle own Whit’s.

He graduated from Whiteland Community High School in 2006.

The alumnus says he’s happy to see people in his hometown support each other through a difficult year.

“Whiteland has been through a lot this year with the tornadoes that came through, and now dealing with this. Being that it’s a small community that’s close knit, everyone comes together and kindness comes out," Clark said.

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The family created a GoFundMe page called “Alaina’s Army”— according to the website it’s for funeral and memorial expenses.

The family also released a statement today. They are asking for privacy and respect as they mourn the loss of Alaina.

“This past Tuesday every parents’ worst nightmare became our reality. We lost our beloved daughter, Alaina, when she drowned during P.E. class at Whiteland Community High School.

Our entire family is deeply devastated by this unforeseen tragedy and requests privacy and respect from the media and the public as we mourn the loss of Alaina. We are in a state of profound grief and shock, and we ask for time and space to grieve and remember Alaina in peace.

We kindly request that all media outlets and representatives refrain from contacting the family directly or attempting to interview them. We understand the media's interest in covering this tragic incident, but we ask for your understanding and empathy by respecting our wishes for privacy.

We would also like to extend our gratitude to all of the friends, relatives, and even strangers who have reached out since this tragedy. We can’t tell you how much we appreciate the outpouring of love, condolences, and prayers from the community during this heart-wrenching time.

In order to ensure the privacy and well-being of the family, we kindly request that any inquiries be directed to our family attorney, Stephen Wagner. Thank you.”
The Family of Alaina Dildine