After seeing his former school splashed across various news networks following a shooting that took the lives of three people and injured three others, Tyler Coe decided he wanted to do something about it.
Coe decided the best way for him to help was to take his side business, Renovation Candle Co., and use it as a fundraising mechanism. Working out of his garage with the help of his friends, he started to make candles that memorialized Thursday’s tragedy.
He put the candle design up on his website, expecting only a few dozen to be purchased, which he says, he also would’ve been happy with.
By Friday evening, he had raised more than $12,000. By Saturday, the number had grown to $18,000, and he and his volunteer labor would be in charge of creating more than 600 candles for people who had placed orders.
“I thought it would be a way to give back … and give people something tangible to have as a way to commemorate this community and pay honor to the tragedy and the victims,” said Coe in a phone conversation Saturday. “I didn’t expect it to take off the way it did.”
Written on the candle in bold font are the words “Saugus Strong” and “Centurion Pride.” Sitting in the center is the blue “S” symbol the school is known for.
“I want to give (the money) to the families, and I’m not going to be giving it until I know that it’s going to be given to them direct, even if I have to do it personally,” Coe added.
Coe said he had to cap the sales of the candle because of how many he sold so quickly, given that it is only him and a few friends working in their spare time, and in his garage, to make the candles.
“You know, I’ve been a Saugus kid my whole life, so this is definitely my part of the town, and my community for sure,” said Coe.