Pulaski County community raises more than $7,500 to support family after 5-year-old boy passes away

Auston Wingo died suddenly Monday afternoon in an apparent drowning, according to authorities

The Pulaski County Community is coming together to support a family after the sudden death of a 5-year-old boy.

UPDATE - Dec. 9, 2021

PULASKI COUNTY, Va. - More than $7,500 has been raised to help the family of Auston Wingo.

Donations will continue to be collected through Dec. 14, 2021.

You can click here to make an online donation, or by sending a check made payable to “Critzer Elementary School” to the address below:

Critzer Elementary School

100 Critzer Drive

Pulaski, VA  24301

Please write “Auston Wingo Memorial Fund” on the memo line of the check.


Auston Wingo left a lasting impact on every life he entered. That’s according to his superintendent, Dr. Kevin Siers.

“We lost a happy, energetic, fun-loving 5-year-old student who made the world a better place for his classmates, his teachers, his family. He just loved everyone,” Pulaski County Superintendent Dr. Kevin Siers said.

Wingo was at the YMCA Monday when he was found unresponsive after he was swimming. He later died at the hospital in Roanoke.

Dr. Siers is working around the clock to find a number of ways to support his family.

“There’s no way to even be able to describe what they’re going through right now. We just really want to be able to help in any way we can,” Siers said.

In less than a day, the memorial fund set up by the school division raised nearly $5,000 for Wingo’s family.

“People want to be helpful. They understand that the normal loss, that also means family has encountered and they want to try to help ease that burden as much as they can,” Siers said.

Siers says it goes to show how his community will rise to help anyone in need, especially over the last couple of weeks. This incident came soon after the death of a beloved teacher at Dublin Elementary School.

“It’s been a pretty tragic few weeks for Pulaski County Public Schools,” Siers said.

As for the investigation, the Bedford County Commonwealth’s Attorney will assist the police department with legal matters in this case.

That’s because the Pulaski Commonwealth’s Attorney has a personal relationship with the YMCA. While there are no charges at this time, the community continues to miss the bright light and presence Auston brought to everyone, every day.

“We want to help those who are experiencing that loss to process and see how they can best move forward,” Siers said.

If you are interested in donating to the memorial fund, you can visit the school’s website here.

About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.