BRANSON, Mo. — The community of Branson is coming together and helping the families of The Duck Boat Disaster victims, and they are doing it in a sweet way. Hurts Donuts in Branson created three different donut designs available for one day only at $3 a pop. The simple white flower on top of a cream filled confection was much more than an ‘instagrammable’ moment.
“We have the Table Rock Lake. A heart with TRL inside of it. Then we have our white donut with waves, and a cross in front of it. Sort of signifying everything that happened,” said 16-year-old Hurts Donuts employee Abbie Henderson.
The Branson Boat Disaster on July 19, killed 17 people when a storm came in and pulled a duck boat full of people under water on Table Rock Lake. Victims ages ranged from one year old to in their seventies.
“It puts a lot of things in perspective, and it shows you that you can`t really – there`s some things you don`t have control of,” Henderson said.
Hurts Donuts made the designs to remember the victims, and all proceeds would go directly to the families of those lost.
“I pray for the families. I’m grieving with the families. In this way I can help,” said Branson resident, Rick McIlrath. “I’m on disability, so there’s not a lot I can do, so I feel like I need to do my part.”
McIlrath says three dollars doesn’t seem like a lot, but it can go so far.
“You can’t put words into what people are going through right now, but for us to do what little we can – $3 for a donut – we’re just doing our part,” McIlrath said.
“We know we can`t give them back what they’ve lost, and we just want to gather together as a community to do the most we can and show them support,” Henderson said.
Table Rock Lake and Branson may be separated by a county line, but McIlrath says, they are all Table Rock Strong.
“We’re all in this together. It’s not just Taney County, it’s just not Stone County – it’s the whole state of Missouri,” McIlrath said.
“I just hope that they know that although we can’t know what they’re going through, we’re trying to support them, and be with them, and they`re valued a lot, and people love them,” Henderson said.
Hurts Donuts said just in their one day of sales they raised more than $9,000 through donuts and donations. The confections sold out, and the business was accepting cash donations for the families throughout the week after the tragedy.