A family member for the widowed wife of the Blue Angels pilot who died in a plane crash in June has started a GoFundMe page to raise funds for his remaining family.
On June 2, Jeff Kuss crashed his F/A-18 fighter jet near Nashville, Tennessee, his death left behind his wife Christina Kuss along with a 4-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter.
Back in his hometown of Durango, Colorado, Nicole Perino, sister of Christina, quickly set up a charity fund through the website GoFundMe.com.
In a little over a month, the fund has already gained nearly $375,000 and has a goal of $500,000.
Perino said the fund is to help pay for living expenses for Kuss' widow and children, with no larger goal pegged to the $500,000 endgame.
"It's not that much given what we have in hand here," Perino said. "She has two young children. Life is expensive."
Perino also hails from Durango, Colorado, where Kuss first found his love of flying.
Kuss' grandfather Dolph Kuss told the Associated Press in June that flying "was his dream since he was a child, to be an aviator, a flier." He would go on to be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marines in 2006 and served in Afghanistan prior to joining the Blue Angels.
His death hit Annapolis hard, as the Blue Angels are a regular part of Commissioning Week ceremonies at the Naval Academy. A replica of his plane was built by a group of Bay Ridge residents to honor his memory during the town's Independence Day parade.
As for Perino she said the amount the GoFundMe page has raised in just a month did not shock her.
"I'm not surprised because of the celebrity and the hype of the situation," she said.
For now, there's no deadline to meet Perino's goal of $500,000.
Attempts to reach Christina Kuss were unsuccessful.
On the GoFundMe page, posting as Christina Ferrarese, Kuss' wife said "(n)avigating life without Jeff is terrifying and overwhelming, but I feel your love and appreciate this support more than I can say."
For more information, visit http://www.gofundme.com/jeffkuss/.
This article was written by Phil Davis from The Capital, Annapolis, Md. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.