Proceeds from two fundraisers this weekend, Oct. 13, 14, will help the families of two women who were involved in a boating accident on the Arizona/California border of the Colorado River over Labor Day Weekend.
Both Ventura residents, Kirra Drury, 23, was found deceased shortly after the accident while Raegan Heitzig, 26, went missing. The search for Heitzig is ongoing, as of Oct. 10 at noon.
The first fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 13, at Social Tap will benefit the family of Heitzig, a server who worked at Social Tap for three years. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“She was always happy, positive and radiant,” said Gracie DeCola, manager of Social Tap. “Customers always wanted to sit in her section and came to see her.”
The fundraiser will include a car wash with a beer and burger special for $50, a bake sale collaboration with friends and family, a T-shirt sale with an image of Raegan and her saying, Think Beautiful Thoughts, a silent auction and 50/50 auction with donations from local businesses.
“The fundraiser allows us to have some healing and move forward with what Raegan would approve of, and allow us to give back to Raegan’s family,” said James Manar, general manager of Social Tap.
At the Social Tap hostess stand, a jar also holds monetary donations for the Heitzig family, while a framed photo with a box next to it holds green ribbons to wear to support and honor Heitzig. Green also represents the color of Heitzig’s hair. In previous weeks, more than $2,000 has been raised among the green ribbon fund, clothing fundraiser and sale proceeds from local business Performance Exhaust.
Heitzig’s sister, Jordan Heitzig, who also works at Social Tap, remembers her sister as a kindhearted person.
“Thank you for loving me unconditionally and showing me the meaning of kindness,” she said in an Instagram post.
The Heitzig family is also currently working with local nonprofit RAKlife to establish a foundation in Heitzig’s honor called The Rae of Light Foundation, a nonprofit that would help children in rural areas with counseling, medical care, food and clothing. According to the RAKlife website, Heitzig graduated from Cal State University, Channel Islands, with a degree in psychology and aspired to become a teacher.
“She definitely liked to give back and help children,” DeCola said. “Raegan was one of the most loving persons.”
On Sunday, Oct. 14, The Tavern will host the “Sunday’s for the Girls” fundraiser to help benefit both the Drury and Heitzig families. Drury worked as a bartender at The Tavern for a year.
“She [Drury] was the first person I hired when I was a general manager,” said Ryan Underlin, fundraiser organizer. “I went up to her and told her she had the right mentality to work here as a bartender. She told me she had no bartending experience and I said, I don’t care. She was a hard worker and always had the most regulars out of all the bartenders.”
The fundraiser will run from noon to 5 p.m. and will include a requested $20 entrance donation that will go through RAKlife. Attendees can enjoy more than 20 breweries from San Diego to Oregon, win raffle ticket prizes and participate in a silent auction. A preview of the prizes will be posted to The Tavern’s Instagram page prior to the event.
Underlin said that the last time he saw Drury and Heitzig was a couple of months before the accident, when they went to Solimar Beach to relax and have fun.
“This is a celebration of these two girls and the life that they lived,” Underlin said.
Underlin said he will remember Drury as energetic, self-confident and lovable.
“The girl literally did what she wanted and was respectable,” Underlin said. “She lived her life to the fullest.”
Social Tap is located at 1105 S. Seaward Ave. and The Tavern is located at 311 E. Santa Clara St. For more information, call Social Tap at 667-8485 or visit www.socialtapeatery.com/ventura-location/ and The Tavern at 643-3264 or visit www.thetavernvta.com.