Folks raise money for Banta sisters memorial gazebo

It’s been nearly three months since a car accident on icy roads took the lives of two north Iowa teenagers.

Tiffany and Chyann Banta of Garner lost control of their vehicle and hit another car earlier this year.

Now an unlikely duo are coming together to raise money for a special memorial for the girls.

Back in January, Steve Hanna was driving the other vehicle involved in the crash that killed Tiffany and Chyann.

Wednesday evening Steve, along with a friend of the sisters organized a fundraiser to raise money that pay for building a memorial gazebo.

“It’s just something that you just cant get over.”

The memory of what happened on January 25th haunts Steve Hanna.

He was traveling on icy roads going to look at gazebos in Forest City when he was involved in the tragic accident.

“That’s what I was doing the day of the accident, there wasn’t anything else to do so I was looking at this and I, like I say the roads weren’t good,” says Hanna.

Steve has decided he wants to build a memorial gazebo on a campground in Crystal Lake to honor the memory of the Bantas and others who have died too soon.

“I’ve lost several people, my son for one and several people from the campground.”

So he’s helped to organized this fund-raiser at Buffalo Wild Wings, a restaurant where Tiffany used to work at.

The restaurant is donating 10% of this evening’s food sales will go toward paying for the structure.

“It’s weird going home and then not being there, but we’ve done the best we can,” Bailey and Brie Adams considered the Bantas family.

“They’ve basically been our sisters since we me them so we’ve done a lot of things together. They weren’t technically our step sisters yet but we treated them and acted like they were our sisters,” says Brie and Bailey.

They say living without the girls for the past few months has been difficult.

“Honestly it’s still like a nightmare, the first month was a nightmare and it still is but we just try to live day by day and I know everybody tells us it’s going to take time and it will take forever to get over this.”

But they say the support of the community is helping their family do just that and think a memorial for the girls will help preserve their memory.

“We want everybody to remember how great the girls were and how much they cared and how much people cared about them.”

For now the plan is to start building the gazebo this Fall Steve says the estimated cost of the materials is $5,800.

There will be another fund-raiser next month and that money will go toward putting together a memorial for the girls in their home town of garner.

The second fundraiser will be held at the OP in Clear Lake on May 10th.

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