The South Kelso man shot in his home Tuesday continued fighting for his life Friday but has been moved to an undisclosed location for safety reasons while the investigation into his shooting continues, according to a family member.
No arrests had been made as of Thursday, and sheriff’s officials did not return calls for updates on Friday.
Family and friends have launched four fundraisers for shooting victim Rick Huckaby and his family, including a GoFundMe account, a Fibre Federal Credit Union donation account, a “Breakfast with Santa” fundraiser and a “Day of Giving” cash donations drive.
Huckaby, 69, is active in the Kelso community, serving as long-time board president at the Family Health Center and playing Santa Claus for Relay for Life events, among other involvements, according to the GoFundMe account. Six months prior to the shooting, Huckaby’s wife, Rebecca, was hospitalized with a brain tumor and is unable to work, according to the GoFundMe page. She was home with her husband when he was shot by an intruder.
The GoFundMe account, created by Huckaby’s family, aims to raise $10,000. More than $1,000 had been donated by 4:30 p.m. Friday — just an hour after the page went live.
The family also set up an account at Fibre Federal for community members who would prefer to donate through a non-digital platform, according to one of Huckaby’s relatives who asked to remain unnamed.
(Details about the GoFundMe and Fibre Federal account are attached to this story online at TDN.com.)
All funds raised through the GoFundMe and Fibre Federal account will go to supporting Rick and Rebecca Huckaby with food, housing, medical bills and other needs during and after his hospitalization.
The Crusaders Relay for Life Team will also hold a breakfast with Santa fundraiser on Saturday, Dec. 7 to benefit the Huckabys.
The breakfast will be from 9 a.m. to noon at the Longview Eagles and will include pancakes, sausage and eggs served with milk or juice. The meal is $5 for adults and $3 for children. The event will also include $3 pictures with Santa from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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The ARRR Pirates, a local nonprofit Huckaby often plays Santa for, also will collect donations for the family during its annual Day of Giving from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 15 at the VFW hall.
Usually that fundraiser collects cash donations for the Shop-with-a-Cop program, but this year the group decided to switch the recipient, said ARRR Pirates Chairwoman Lisa Alexander.
The fundraiser also features a toy drive for the Salvation Army and a food drive for the VFW. Santa, who is usually played by Huckaby, will be available for photos.
“There is a friend of Rick who is stepping up to take Rick’s place in all the events he had promised (to be Santa), so that the children won’t be disappointed,” Alexander said.
Starting next week, the Pirates will also distribute donation “treasure chest” jars throughout the community, she said. Those jars will be at Fiesta Bonita, 8 to 28 Ladies’ Clothing Exchange, DCP Hobbies and Scooters Bar and Grill leading up to Dec. 15.
“Every penny we can bring in is going straight to the family,” Alexander said. It’s a way to give back to a local volunteer who asks for nothing in return for his service, she said.
“He means a lot to a lot of people,” she said.
According to the sheriff’s office, an intruder shot Huckaby while he was at home in the 1400 block of South Fourth Avenue in South Kelso. Investigators are still determining a motive for the attack and remain “open to all possibilities,” Thurman said Thursday.
TDN Reporters Alex Bruell and Katie Fairbanks contributed to this story.