Friends of hit-and-run victim hold fundraiser for homeless in hi - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Friends of hit-and-run victim hold fundraiser for homeless in his memory


Ethan Pringle was a 26-year-old student at Armstrong State University, he died after being hit on Hwy 17 in Jasper County in the early morning hours on Saturday. 

“Just a great guy, genuine,” said Josh Paul. “Loved Georgia Bulldogs, any Georgia team. Just a real great guy.”

Pringle's closest friends have been sharing messages, pictures and videos. For one of his best friends and old roommate, what happened over the weekend still doesn’t seem real.

“I didn’t want to believe it at first, part of me still doesn't want to. But it's been tough,” said Paul.

Paul's fiancé was working at Memorial Health the morning Ethan was found on the side of the road, after what turned out to be a fatal hit-and-run.

A few weeks earlier, Josh had asked Ethan to be in his wedding.

“I got the opportunity to ask him to be a groomsmen at my wedding. I'm glad I got to do that,” said Paul.

Now, Pringle’s friends are doing something special. Staying true to his passion for helping the homeless.

“He was just the type of person who would go up and talk and spend 30 to 40 minutes talking, give money, food, whatever they needed. He treated them like the people they are,” Paul said.

So what Paul and his friends did was brainstorm ways to give back to the community in Ethan's memory. So they went down to Bull Street and met with the folks at Old Savannah City Mission.

“We sat and talked and gave him a tour of the mission, and he said this was the right thing that Ethan would have done in remembrance of him,” said Connell Stiles, with the Old Savannah City Mission.

What they did was set up a fundraising page, set a goal for $1,500 to help the mission buy an industrial scale for their bargain store.  

In one day, they not only met the goal, they smashed it with extra money still coming in.

“Wow! That is wonderful! That is great!”

“I'll ask [Paul], if it's OK, to apply the overage so we can get our kitchen renovated.”

Paul decided he'd share the news himself.

“We are very happy to help you guys, thank you so much.”

The Helping the Homeless for Ethan fundraiser is ongoing on Facebook, and the kitchen at Old Savannah Mission will get those extra funds.

“It's overwhelming, it really is,” said Paul. “I think Ethan would be thrilled and I kept thinking ....the whole wish he were here because he would love that place.”

A small consolation, in the face of heartbreaking loss, and a friend gone too soon.

Click here for Helping the Homeless for Ethan, on Sept. 24 at 8 a.m. at Old City Mission. You can give right up the event next Saturday.

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