Ashari Hughes’ GoFundMe reached its goal of $50,000 overnight on Monday, Jan. 9. The 16-year-old collapsed and died of a heart attack while playing flag football for Desert Oasis High School in Las Vegas last week.
Ashari wasn’t an NFL player, but her death touched the hearts of many generous donors who raised over $50,000 for her funeral expenses on GoFundMe.
The donations included $2,500 from Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels.
On Saturday, the family held a vigil for the teenager who died doing what she loved. Video posted to Enttroda Hughes’ Facebook page shows family and friends, including Hughes’ classmates, releasing dozens of balloons into the night sky while saying Ashari’s name.
Enttroda Hughes told the Review-Journal that he and his wife, Twayne, were grateful for all the love and support being shown to the family after their daughter’s sudden, tragic death.
“Me and Twayne are so thankful for the support of our community and most for our friends and family,” he wrote in an email to the outlet.
“She loved music, dancing, and being around all the people she loved,” Ashari’s parents wrote in a statement on Friday. “She called football the real love of her life!”
Ashari Hughes was compared to Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin, who suffered a cardiac arrest during a Monday night football game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Both Ashari and Damar were vaccinated against Covid-19. However, health experts dismissed speculation that Damar’s cardiac arrest was caused by a vaccine injury.
Over $8 million was donated to Damar’s foundation for children.