ASI starts ‘Once a 49er, Always a 49er’ fund

The Associated Students, Inc. has raised more than $4,000 so far for the family of freshman Cal State Long Beach student Jacob Hefter, who died in the Sept. 12 Metrolink disaster.

ASI started the fund on Sept. 15 to help Hefter’s family with funeral costs. ASI members and student volunteers went on class rounds, receiving generous support and donations from fellow students, faculty and staff.

ASI president Erin Swetland said that, following the death of Hefter, her e-mail was flooded with messages from students saying they wanted to help and that something had to be done for his family.

“My heart just broke,” Swetland said. “Students, administration and faculty members were all so willing to support his family.”

ASI has now decided to make the fund permanent and continue to provide support for other families who have lost loved ones from CSULB.

Following the strong support towards the Hefter fund from fellow students, staff and administration members, ASI announced they will support other victims by helping their families repay their funeral costs.

“Extra donations will go to a new fund called, ‘Once a 49er, Always a 49er’ that will help with other funeral costs of students who pass away during their time at CSULB,” Swetland said. “We want students to know, that no matter what happens to you, we will rally for you in times of tragedy.”

Swetland said CSULB President F. King Alexander wanted to make sure the campus community reached out to all students no matter what.

Contributions for Jacob Hefter will continue until Oct. 3. Following this date, donations will go to the “Once a 49er, Always a 49er’ fund.

Donations can be made at the ASI business office located on the second floor of the University Student Union.