Community rallies around Schwamberger family

By Wayne Allen

September 11, 2013

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

As the community continues to mourn the loss of the young Boston Schwamberger, many have stepped forward with financial contributions to the family that will aid them with any ongoing expenses.

One of the many ways people in the area’s communities have shown their support for the family was purchasing memorial T-shirts and attending a ‘Green Out’ that took place at various high school football games on Friday, Sept. 6.

Boston’s favorite color was John Deer Green and may area T-shirt shops around the Wheelersburg and Minford areas produced commemorative shirts for the rallies at the weekend’s football games with half of the proceeds going to the family.

The Shirt Shop, in Wheelersburg is reporting they produced more than 1,300 shirts.

“The thing that really overwhelmed us was the amount of people who cared. It was not about the T-shirt, it was about trying to raise money for that family,” Alex Prater, owner of the Shirt Shop said.

Prater said 50 percent of the money made on those shirts will be donated to the family. He estimated that number to be around $6,500 thus far.

He said they will still print the shirts as long as there are orders for them.

Mary’s Jewelry & Spirit Shop in Portsmouth has also made commemorative shirts and are donated half of the sales to the family.

“We’ve not wrapped up our orders yet. We’re still waiting for a lot of them to be picked up. So, it would be hard to get a grasp on how many we’ve made,” Mary Felty, owner of Mary’s Jewlry & Spirit Shop, said. “I do know that (at last count) we’ve made over $2,000 for the family.”

Johnson’s Design Plus of Minford, also produced some commemorative shirts, donating half of the proceeds to the family.

“We made enough T-shirts to profit the family about $2,200. Typically it does not matter where the child is from as long as it’s in our county. Our county tends to pull together very well, we take care of our own,” Rebecca Johnson of Johnson’s Design Plus said.

According to an online fundraiser at, $11,136 has been raised towards a goal of $25,000.

Luv It! Gifts in Wheelersburg was also producing memorial T-shirts, but was not participating in the fundraising effort.

Joe Schwamberger, father of Boston, said Tuesday afternoon that he is still trying to find the words to appropriately express their gratitude to those in the community that have shown his family so much support.

When asked about the impact Boston had on the community, Joe Schwamberger said, “I’m almost speechless about the impact he (Boston) had on the community. I always had a feeling that he touched a lot of people. After he passed, I had no idea of the amount people he touched.”

Joe Schwamberger said there has been likely hundreds of people that have expressed their support for the family, since Boston’s passing.

When asked what he would like to say to the community, Joe Schwamberger wanted to deliver a big thank you and his family’s appreciation.

“There is no way we could get through what we’ve gone through without this community,” Joe Schwamberger said.

He said plans are in the works to establish a memorial fund and scholarships in Bostons name.

Ashley, Boston’s mother posted on Facebook after his passing, “Please just always remember my baby as the funniest, sweetest, wildest guy we all knew him to be, and continue to support him and wear his shirts and bracelets. I don’t want anyone to ever forget him. He loved every single one of you and just know he was so happy and he’s even happier now that he is no longer in pain. God Bless everyone of you and please don’t lose the faith.”

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.