Community rallies around family of Hannah Goman, Stevens Point woman killed in Minnesota car crash

STEVENS POINT – The community is rallying around the family of a 20-year-old Stevens Point woman who was killed in a February car crash in Winona, Minnesota.

Hannah Goman, a 2020 Stevens Point Area Senior High graduate and a Winona State University student, was killed Feb. 19 after a truck driving the wrong way on Highway 61 struck the vehicle in which she was a passenger.

Following the crash, the Stevens Point community immediately stepped up to support Hannah's family by starting fundraisers and sharing tributes to the young woman.

A GoFundMe page started for the family has raised more than $19,600 as of Wednesday morning, surpassing its $15,000 goal. Brian and Wendy's Hiawatha did a 50/50 raffle, and Polito's Pizza donated 30% of its sales on Feb. 23 to the family.

Hannah's mom, Michelle Strasser-Goman, described her daughter as a "fun-loving, high-spirited, generous, well-organized girl," whose loss will not be forgotten.

Strasser-Goman said the community support, the generosity and the love have been overwhelming. As someone who has helped organize many local fundraisers, she said people don't realize how much it means to be on the receiving end of one of them. She said the support has lifted a tremendous burden off of the family.

Hannah Goman
Hannah Goman

Many of the fundraisers were organized by friends of the family, including the fundraiser held by Polito's. Strasser-Goman said that owner Kevin Polito has been a long-time friend, and that it was important to her that she and her family go see him in person at the shop. When they did, he immediately came to greet them. There wasn't a dry eye in the house, she said.

Other local businesses and organizations that started fundraisers saw people give immediate and overwhelming support.

Nicole Peters Stroik started The Power of 5 Facebook page about two years ago. The purpose of the page is to raise money for local causes by encouraging people to donate $5.

She said that 15 people reached out to her about starting a fundraiser for Hannah's family. After a little over a week of fundraising, the page raised more than $25,000. She said they paid for the funeral expenses directly with the money that was raised and the rest of the money will go to the Goman family.

Peters Stroik said this has by far been the biggest fundraiser the page has seen, raising more money in one week than they had done in all of 2020. She said the success of the fundraiser is a testament to Hannah's family and how much they mean to the community.

Division + Brawley sold memorial candles as a fundraiser for the family. Owner Sollita Franc said she made 96 candles and sold out in about 24 hours. Though she didn't know Hannah personally, she looked at her Facebook page to get to know her and also took inspiration from what other people were posting about her.

She made a first batch of candles with a sea salt and orchid fragrance, a scent she picked because she thought it brought to mind things that Hannah embodied.

The Hannah Goman memorial candles created by Sollita Franc, owner of Division + Brawley.
The Hannah Goman memorial candles created by Sollita Franc, owner of Division + Brawley.

"I chose something that was one of our more delicate, feminine scents," Franc said. "Earthy, but it’s very shiny and bright and uplifting."

When she ran out of that scent, she chose apple honey champagne for the second batch for the same reason. The candle sale raised more than $750, and Franc said she hopes to make more memorial candles in the near future.

Several other local businesses also are planning fundraisers to benefit Hannah's family.

El Mezcal in Stevens Point will donate 35% of its gift card sales from Tuesday and Wednesday. Noodles & Co. will donate 25% of sales between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Monday. Pallet & Planks is selling a memorial T-shirt through Friday. R.D.'s Diner in Stevens Point will donate 5% of sales from March 1-6. People can also contact local photographer Maya Worzella on Facebook for custom window decals created in memory of Hannah.

"If anybody didn’t know (Hannah) before this," Franc said, "they know her now by all of the beautiful things that have been shared."

Contact USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin reporter Melissa Siegler at Follow her on Twitter at @Marie2Melissa.

OTHER NEWS: Beloved by social media: Point After Pub & Grill tops list of favorite Stevens Point fish fry locations

OTHER NEWS: 'See ya next time': How a neighborhood grocery store grew into today's Kwik Trip phenomenon

This article originally appeared on Stevens Point Journal: Family of Stevens Point's Hannah Goman, killed in crash, finds support