COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho -- For the first time in her life, a local girl will be spending the holidays without her mother. But the community is rallying to try to make this year’s Christmas more special than ever.
Madison Clarke’s mother was killed in a tragic car crash over the summer. The seven-year-old’s father has since been laid off from work.
Through a fundraiser called “Making Magic for Madison,” dozens of people from Coeur d'Alene are trying to make sure Madison and her father have enough presents under the tree this Christmas.
Tony Clarke, Madison's father, said the girl has become his shining star after her mother Hannah died in the wreck.
"She's just a really good kid and she helps me through some of this," he said.
Out of work and without a home to call their own, Christmas wasn't looking bright for Tony and Madison. But his friends decided to organize "Making Magic for Madison" for the pair. The fundraiser was scheduled for Sunday at the Coeur d'Alene resort.
The response from the community has been overwhelming, said Abbi Sonesen, a family friend who helped organize the event.
"Everywhere I go, I get a ‘yes,’” said Sonesen. “Every door I've opened opens farther than I ever expected it to."
Tony said the support and donations have been a welcome sign during a holiday season that has already been filled with struggle.
"I don't know what to expect. It's the first year Hannah hasn't been around for Christmas,” said Tony. “I don't know."
Making Magic for Madison runs Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fundraiser will feature a raffle and silent and blind auctions. For more information, click here.