CLARENCE, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Clarence community is rallying behind the four Bergum children, who lost both of their parents and grandparents. The pastor of Eastern Hills Church, Patrick Jones, says the church is trying to bring the Bergum family hope in the wake of tragedy.
“There’s a number of people just saying what can we do and so we decided to take the lead in establishing this fund knowing that there are going to be immediate and long-term needs for the kids,” Pastor Jones said. “Before we even had it set up, somebody said yes I am totally supportive of this and I will be the first $100. I fully anticipate knowing Western New York that there’s going to be a tremendous response to this and for that I say thank you.”
Four children have been left behind after tragedy in Clarence. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office alleges that Erik Bergum shot and killed his wife, Mary Beth Bergum and his parents before turning the gun on himself. Family-friends have told News 4 the Bergum family was very involved in their faith and now the church community is banding together to help the children.
“With the ages of the kids, college is ahead and there’s all kinds of things. We just wanted to quickly establish a means by which people could invest in them,” Pastor Jones said.
While there is no exact goal for the fund, the church is hoping to raise enough money to support the children as they grieve this loss. Pastor Jones says he knows the entire Clarence community is still processing this tragedy and he believes one day they will find hope again.
“Our prayers are going to go for our community, too because many of our families across the community were connected to this family through school events, and sports and all kinds of things. I know there’s a lot of shock going on. I know there’s a lot of pain people are feeling,” Pastor Jones said.
The Eastern Hills Church had a prayer and worship service scheduled for Friday night. They chose to dedicate part of the service to the Bergum family, who used to worship there. Erik Bergum was also on staff for a few months at the church, according to Pastor Jones.
To donate to the fund, visit their website here.
Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.