"Derek Fest" on Sept. 24th to raise money for scholarship fund in memory of Bloomer teacher

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BLOOMER, Wis. (WEAU) -- The family of a Bloomer teacher killed in a car crash earlier this year is raising money for a scholarship fund in his memory.

In April, 32-year-old Derek Thompson died in a two-car crash on Highway 64, northeast of Bloomer.

Family and friends describe him as a generous and passionate man.

"Derek was much more than just a teacher in our building. As a special education teacher, he provided a network of support for many kids beyond just the school day and really was kinda like a father figure to many of his students," said Bloomer High School Principal Chad Steinmetz.

To help remember the Bloomer native, his family started the Derek J. Thompson Family Scholarship Fund.

"We just feel this is something that can carry on for years to years to give back to his students and to the community and to his school that he went to and worked at," said Brittany Thompson.

Family and friends are hosting Derek Fest on Saturday, September 24th at the Bloomer Community Fairgrounds to raise money to benefit the scholarship fund.

"I just know that he would love everyone getting together and having a good time and listening to music and enjoying each other," said Brittany Thompson.

Music is the highlight of the event because it was another one of Derek's passions. Brittany Thompson said her husband was a big Gary Allan fan.

"He would work at Country Fest and Country Jam and help set up with the bands," said Thompson.

The goal is to turn Derek Fest into an annual event.

Thompson said the scholarship will go to a Bloomer High School student going into education or a field that involves helping others because that's who Derek was.

Bloomer High School Principal Chad Steinmetz said a scholarship is a fitting way to remember Derek.

"I think Derek would be proud to know that part of the way we're remembering him and honoring the work he had done is to try to continue a scholarship in his memory," said Steinmetz.

Derek Fest is Saturday, September 24th at the Bloomer Community Fairgrounds. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the music starts at 7 featuring the bands "Three Bucks & Change" and "Big Back Yard." Admission is $5.

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