Apple Barrel owner seeks to help familes, first responders after Schoharie crash
October 02, 2019 07:39 AM
One year ago, the Apple Barrel Store and Café in Schoharie was the location of a devastating limousine crash where 20 lives were lost. The owners of the well-known business, the Loden family say their lives and the community of Schoharie will be forever changed by the tragedy last October.
"The grief is still there, the emotion is still there, the processing is still there" Josh Loden recently said.
Loden is the second-generation owner of the Apple Barrel. He was at the store when the limo carrying a group of friends and family members crashed into an unoccupied car in the parking lot.
Since then, Loden has made it his business to try and help Schoharie County first responders and victims' families heal.
"You see these events happening elsewhere in the world, these tragedies, you hear about it, you read about it, you're removed and being at this center point and ground zero was just surreal," he said.
Just days after the deadly incident, the Lodens announced they'd be taking donations for first responders as well as establishing the Reflections Memorial Foundation. Their plan was to help create a permanent memorial for the victims' families by the one-year anniversary. The family is achieving that goal with the unveiling of the monument this Saturday.
"It's been really helpful for us to run the business knowing we have the foundation and the foundation's mission to try and build this memorial," Loden said.
The foundation raised $50,000 to help build the memorial and has donated $20,000 to first responders in need.
Loden, a former volunteer EMT, says he knows firsthand how important help like this is for the grieving process.
"Being able to really give back to the families and first responders and give them a place to come and reflect and process the tragedy has really helped me process and go through the range of emotions," he said.
As the anniversary approaches, Loden says he wants the families and first responders to know one thing.
"Whether it's one year or five years, ten, twenty years, we're still here and we will always be," he said.
Updated: October 02, 2019 07:39 AM
Created: October 01, 2019 05:03 PM
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