More than 600 people attend “Wake up Jonah” fundraiser

ST. GEORGE — On April 17, Jonah Tuttle was injured during a longboard accident in Snow Canyon State Park that led to his being flown out of the park and put into intensive care. On Saturday, an audience of more than 600 people filled the darkened auditorium of Snow Canyon High School for the “Wake up Jonah” fundraising event featuring a dance performance from Kalamity & Kaos Krew.

T-shirts were sold to raise money during "Wake up Jonah", fundraising event held in the auditorium at Snow Canyon High School, St. George, Utah, May 21, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News
T-shirts were sold to raise money during the “Wake up Jonah” fundraising event held in the auditorium at Snow Canyon High School, St. George, Utah, May 21, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

When emergency responders arrived in Snow Canyon State Park on April 17, Tuttle was found lying unconscious in the Upper Galoot Picnic Area of the park. Life Flight transported him to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George.


Read more: Man airlifted from Snow Canyon State Park following longboard accident


Tuttle spent the first month in intensive care. Less than a week ago, he was moved to a Special Needs Unit at Dixie Regional Medical Center, close family friend Deni Fisher said.

The Wake up Jonah event was set up to help pay for medical expenses and included a bake sale, T-shirts, bracelets and other items to be sold.

The evening also included a dance show featuring Kalamity & Kaos Krew. Kalamity is a professional contemporary hip-hop group that performs with its sister group of students dancers, Kaos Krew. Each year, Kalamity & Kaos Krew choose a “Kause” in the local community — usually families in need from a medical crisis — that they support through shows and fundraisers.

The grand finale on stage during "Wake up Jonah", fundraising event held in the auditorium at Snow Canyon High School, St. George, Utah, May 21, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News
The grand finale on stage during the “Wake up Jonah” fundraising event held in the auditorium at Snow Canyon High School, St. George, Utah, May 21, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Kalamity & Kaos Krew volunteer Christy Gordon said that all proceeds from ticket sales to the dance show — which cost $5 — were donated directly to the family.

Gordon added  that Kalamity and Kaos Krew Dance Company recently became a nonprofit organization, which will allow them to help even more and to support those in need.

The Santa Clara Hungry Howies contributed to the cause by selling pizza by the slice, with all proceeds excluding food costs also being donated to the family, Hungry Howies’ general manager Thomas Krafczyk said.

“We aren’t making any money on it,” Krafczyk said. “We are just recovering food costs, and giving everything else to the charity.”

Dixie State Rugby team that Tuttle played on before the accident, "Wake up Jonah", fundraising event held in the auditorium at Snow Canyon High School, St. George, Utah, May 21, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News
Dixie State Rugby team that Tuttle played on before the accident, Snow Canyon High School, St. George, Utah, May 21, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

There was an enormous amount of support for Tuttle during the evening’s activities, and despite the injuries he sustained, many close to him believe that Tuttle will not let any limitations prevent him from being happy, Fisher said.

“Jonah’s successes may be different,” Fisher said, “primarily because he never judged success by winning a game, or being the smartest, or having the most. … Jonah found happiness in bringing people together.”

Tuttle graduated from Snow Canyon High School in 2012, served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and played for the Dixie State Rugby Team – currently identifying itself “Team Tuttle” in a show of support on the team’s Facebook page cover photo. Tuttle played with the team until his accident in April.

“We want to thank everyone who donated their time, money and talent,” said Alison Snow, a volunteer for Kalamity & Kaos Krew. “Kalamity was honored to dance for the ‘Captain’ and the Tuttle Family.”

Friends of Tuttle have also set up a GoFundMe account to help the family cover medical expenses. Interested patrons can also donate to a bank account in Jonah Tuttle’s name at any Wells Fargo Bank. Daily updates on Jonah’s condition can be found at justwakeupjonah.com.

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Email: cblowers@stgnews.com 

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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