NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — It’s been almost two weeks since police say a 6-year-old student shot his Richneck Elementary school teacher, Abby Zwerner.
Since she was shot, both Police Chief Steve Drew and the Newport News School Board say she is doing better every day.
The shooting rattled the community.
"Nothing you ever expect to hear when you send your daughter or your sister off to work," said Joe Riss.
It also left people wanting to support Zwerner as she recovers in the hospital.
"We heard the news and we knew we wanted to do something," said Seth Caddell.
He's the co-owner of Coastal Fermentory. Wednesday night, he and his team dedicated their weekly “Drink Beer and Do Good” fundraiser to Zwerner and her family.
"We want them to know that the community is behind them. We support them, we love them, we care about them," he said.
By the end of the night, they raised over $2,000. All of that money will go to the GoFundMe page set up by Zwerner's family.
DD214 Smokeshouse’s food truck also got involved and will donate a part of its proceeds to the fundraiser.
The entire brewery and patio were packed with people wanting to help.
"The community has just come out, not just teachers," said Regina Watson. "There’s people that saw it on Facebook or saw it on social media and are here supporting."
Regina and her husband Paul know the Zwerner family personally. Paul said he worked with Abby’s father for years at the Newport News Fire Department before he passed away.
"We’re here to support the family," said Paul.
Marianne Tully said she doesn’t know Zwerner personally, but she wanted to take time to thank her and every other teacher in the community for what they do
"You never know what you're going to face any day of the week and it's just compounded with all the personal effort, personal finances that you have to put in to take care of kids that you love. This was just… it was astonishing to me," she said.
Riss said it warms his heart to see such a big turnout.
"I know she’s going to have a long road to recovery, so this is the right thing to do," Riss said.
Coastal Fermentory isn’t the only local business fundraising for Zwerner.
Sang Candles and Southern Simplicity Designs are also donating a portion of their proceeds to the family’s GoFundMe page.
The Newport News-based brewery hosts a "Drink Beer and Do Good" fundraiser every Wednesday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. In the next couple of weeks, they're raising money for the American Cancer Society, Hampton Roads Agriculture, Habitat for Humanity and Versability.